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The Environment Aotearoa 2019 report released last month "wasn't all about dairy," says Dr Tim Mackle.

DairyNZ's chief executive told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum that although the industry plays a large part in the quality of New Zealand's waterways, it is up to all Kiwis to pitch in and help.

"We all need to improve our waterways, and that's why we're actively out there in the community talking about the role we all play, not just dairy".


Although the report was mostly well-received by DairyNZ, Mackle said he personally found three aspects "disappointing".

Listen below:

"It didn't showcase or really cover a lot of that good work that has been done, not just by dairy farmers but by others as well over time. So you've just got to make sure that that story of progress is in there as well".

"Probably the other thing is when you do compare the current state to pre-human state - is it a realistic comparison? We're never going to get back to there so just for those who are a little bit less informed and can't relate to it - I think that's important".

"The third thing is when we talk about climate change I did note the report [said] that we're high in the OECD per capita in terms of our greenhouse gas emissions ... it's high because we produce a heck of a lot of food to feed a heck of a lot of people globally."

Despite his reservations, Mackle said overall the report is something all New Zealanders have to get behind and "play our part".

Also in today's interview: Mackle talks about a couple of farmer forums coming up and also discusses why the ICCC press conference was cancelled this week.