If the government was serious about climate change it would curb tourism rather than agriculture, rural commentator Jim Hopkins says.
"They would say tourism's off the table. Not for 12 months, but for 12 years – or longer - until the planet's cooled down and we're all happy again," he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
Last week research showed that New Zealand dairy was the most emissions efficient in the world, something that the government should be promoting, rather than trying to reduce, Hopkins said.
He also disagreed with the Climate Change Commission's draft advice on New Zealand cutting livestock numbers by 15 per cent to reach its ambitious greenhouse gas targets.
On yesterday's show, Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said the target would not be too difficult to reach, as remaining productive with fewer stock units had "probably been the normal course of events for New Zealand farming."
Hopkins said this was a "pathetic lack of ambition on behalf of the government."
"All he said was we can reduce dairy numbers but we can maintain productivity and keep production at the same level ... Why wasn't he saying 'hey world, listen to this – let us do your dairy for you – we do it better – let excellence replace mediocrity.'"
New Zealand had also pledged to slash emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels, and 11 per cent below 1990 levels, by 2030.
Mackay pointed out that although New Zealand had fewer stock units than in 1990, they were being fed better and fed more. This resulted in the animals producing more, which meant emissions had risen instead of dropped.
If this continued, dropping stock units by 15 per cent wouldn't help, Mackay said.
This was an example of the Government not listening again, Hopkins said.
"Wellington is blind to what we do best, which is feed the world in the cleanest, greenest way possible."
"Our Government should be saying we are going to get behind New Zealand farming because it can make the best contribution to the planet in the future ... in terms of food production and greenhouse gas emissions."
Hopkins predicted the Government putting agriculture "through the hoops" would result in reducing the standard of living for all New Zealanders "in order to reduce 0.2 per cent of the world's emissions."
"That's it townies – 0.2 per cent - so you stop travelling and that might help as much, if not more, than kneecapping the best and most efficient farming industry in the world."