Food and farming

Everyone deserves fresh, healthy food grown in a way that’s good for our climate, rivers, wildlife and communities.

Organic dairy cows on Mangarara Station farm.

Over the past thirty years, farming in New Zealand has changed. Family farms are steadily being replaced by corporate, monoculture farms, with dairy cows crammed into every corner.

Intensive dairying is making our climate, our water and our communities sick. Industrial agriculture is New Zealand’s biggest climate polluter, largely thanks to all those dairy cows. Our rivers and lakes are in the worst state they’ve ever been. Even our drinking water is at risk.

Why it matters 

We’re already seeing the shocking effects of the climate crisis. Places like Australia and California have faced raging wildfires. Storms and other destructive weather events are set to become more frequent and intense. 

Even if we stopped using all fossil fuels tomorrow, we’d still be on the path to global heating because of the way we’re farming. 

Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and intensive dairying is also causing alarmingly high levels of nitrate contamination in our drinking water – endangering people’s health. Pregnant people who drink high nitrate water risk preterm and underweight babies, and scientists warn that nitrate in drinking water could be causing 100 cases of bowel cancer and 40 deaths per year in New Zealand. Rural communities on bore water are the most at risk. What is more – it can take up to 20 years to feel the full impacts of nitrate pollution on our waterways and on human health, meaning it is even more important to stop nitrate contamination at source. This is about people’s lives.

Farming can be part of the climate solution, but we need to make some changes.