Dairy farmers create New Zealand's greatest export, but that size means greater influence over environmental policies too.
In this Local Focus video, Whanganui candidates explain where they stand in the debate about bringing agriculture into the emissions trading scheme.
Local MP and National candidate Harete Hipango said it's unfair to keep putting all the responsibilities and blame onto the farmers.
"Covid has proven that farmers are the ones that are there to feed the nation, to look after us," she said. "They have taken heed of the riparian planting, the cleaner farming and done that well, and big ups to our farmers."
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Labour candidate Steph Lewis said Jacinda Ardern had achieved a world-first by achieving consensus with National to pass the zero-carbon bill last year.
"It's not just farmers," she said. "It's the transport industry, manufacturing and all those other industries as well contributing hugely, and so it's about all of us working together. Not just putting the blame on one specific sector."
Green candidate Alan Clay accepts it will be a huge transition for farmers to achieve sustainable farming.
"Under National they just put too many animals on the farm, destroyed all of the rivers and now we are having to recover from that. We have put in place some funds that can help farmers transition to sustainable farming."
Also standing in the Whanganui electorate:
• Jonathan Marshall for the New Conservatives
• Heather Marion Smith for Social Credit
• Charlotte Weber for Advance NZ
• and Hillary Kieft as an independent
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