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The recent NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) report trivialises the significant role the dairy sector plays in New Zealand's economy – and fails to look at the specifics of the Government's freshwater package says Dr Tim Mackle.

DairyNZ's chief executive spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about the report, which he said does not analyse the economic benefits of dairy to regional communities.

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Waterway clean up won't harm economy, NZIER says

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The study which was commissioned by Forest & Bird, Greenpeace, and Fish and Game said:

"Due to the relatively small size of the dairy industry, the freshwater reforms are unlikely to be major at the national level, and not felt for many years due to the long lead in times proposed".

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Mackle disagreed, saying Forest & Bird, Greenpeace and Fish and Game were "trying to pull a fast one on the New Zealand public".

"This report doesn't analyse the Government's proposal in any detail at all. As we all know, dairy is one of our big engines in this economy" said Mackle.

The report is focused on GDP of which dairy makes up only 3 per cent. Mackle said although GDP was important, it didn't "tell the story".

"The big impact of Ag on New Zealand is bringing money into our house and we need that household income to be able to buy things".