One of New Zealand's leading sheep breeders, Derek Daniell, had some controversial thoughts to share about trees today on The Country.

"To think that New Zealand's going to save the world from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by planting native bush - it's just so ridiculous," Daniell told Jamie Mackay.

"I just think there's not enough deep thinking about where New Zealand's going and there's all kinds of stupidity being promoted by lobby groups and so on - like planting native bush - why the hell would we plant native bush? We've got plenty of native bush."

As a member of the 50 Shades of Green group, Daniell said the Government's One Billion Trees programme "disturbed" him, especially when it came to removing wilding pines - only to attract foreign interests to plant trees for carbon offsetting.


"We currently have a programme where we're going to spend $190 million taking out wilding pines and then on the other hand we're going to pay rich people to plant trees so the trees can absorb carbon - and some of those wealthy people are foreigners - this is a world first Jamie, social welfare for foreigners."

Listen below:

Controversially, Daniell's solution to the wilding pine problem was to let the pest trees run amok, as he believed people would eventually get used to them, especially in the South Island where there was "a lot of waste land".

"There's just huge areas that most people never see and once they get used to something different, like pine trees, then they're used to it - it's like they get used to windmills after a while."

Also in today's interview: Daniell shares more thoughts on the state of New Zealand politics, the 50th anniversary of the Wairarapa Romney Improvement Group and future of professional sport (his son Marcus is a regular on the world tennis circuit).