Comment: The Essential Freshwater Package has Rowena Duncum wishing the Government would stick to the Keep It Simple Stupid method.

Look, I usually steer clear of voicing political opinions, but to be honest, I've lost a lot of sleep this past week.

Here we are one week on from the big water policy announcement and I don't see that abating anytime soon.

Farmer's open letter to Jacinda Ardern: Part 2


In the last seven days, we've heard a range of opinions. Some good, balanced and considered. Some in the extreme for opposing sides of the spectrum.

But a couple of things are steadfast:

1. The science behind this water policy is not transparent. Heck, it's not even able to be elaborated on succinctly at the so-called "public consultation meetings". But I'll leave that to the scientists to debate.

2. The Government's insistence "we value farmers" and "we want your feedback".

3. The consultation period.

What a joke. A farce. A travesty. A mockery. A sham. An insult to the very people it purports to "value".

Need I go on?

Rowena Duncum: Time to stop shaming farmers


If I, in a humble radio studio in downtown Dunedin, can field countless texts, phone calls, tweets, Snapchats, Facebook and WhatsApp messages on the subject, imagine the feedback the Government is getting.

Yes - feedback.

That single word they insist they are seeking on this proposal.

And the feedback I'm getting is overwhelmingly that farmers are in their busiest time of the year and a six-week consultation period is not enough.

It's clear as day to absolutely everyone in New Zealand. The world even.

So why is this Government not "front footing" the distinct issue here? Why not announce an extension to the consultation period and get the farmers buy-in back?


Because what would suit the people this policy affects, doesn't suit the Government.

With elections coming up, they want this rushed through.


Look, I'd love to be proved wrong on this.

Water proposals 'throw farming under the tractor' says Feds

I'd love to go back to talking to farmers who truly feel their voices are being heard and they count as more than just political pawns leveraged against the urban vote.


I'd love to have a full night's sleep.

So, come on Jacinda, Grant, David and Damien - why not do the right thing? Extend the consultation period and give farmers a decent say on the biggest farming game changer in a generation.

Tell me I'm wrong. But with action, not hot air.

Let's K.I.S.S. (apply the "keep it simple stupid" method, not actually lock lips) and just do the most blatantly obvious thing since France's forward pass in the '07 RWC.

Let's not have another Watergate eh?

P.S. - If you'd just asked a farmer first, they could have saved you all this angst and anti-Government feeling. #Justsayin'


P.P.S. - Saying the North Island farmers aren't busy is codswallop. Ever heard of mating? Teeny tiny thing that sets up your entire system for next year? Get it wrong and it takes years to fix and erodes profits like you would not believe? Often referred to as a more hectic period than calving? No? Didn't think so.

- Rowena Duncum the host of The Country Early Edition. Catch her every weekday from 5am-6am on The Country Early Edition, on Radio Sport and Hokonui, and with Jamie Mackay on The Country every weekday from 12pm on NewstalkZB, Radio Sport and Hokonui.