Tax, Climate Change & Water Quality: The Whiteboard Friday 3 for 1 super special

Gareth MorganEnvironment

This week, the cost of cleaning up the Waikato River to be swimmable (a goal which was placed into law as part of the Tainui settlement) was estimated at $8b. For now we won’t quibble about whether it is the right number, we’ll just agree we face a very big challenge.

The reaction seems to have sharpened the opposition to further conversions, or in fact any further intensification of farming within the catchment. This is long overdue.

The question is, if the legislation was passed in 2007, why has so much land converted to dairy since then? The majority of conversions have been from forest land, which is a double whammy for water quality due to the increase in sediment loss and the additional nitrogen from having animals on the land.

In this Whiteboard Friday we ask – why did so much forestry land convert to dairy in the first place? The answer brings together many issues the Morgan Foundation looks at including tax, climate change and water quality.

Please note that the numbers used in this Whiteboard Friday are illustrative, as costs and returns will vary across conversions.

Tax, Climate Change & Water Quality: The Whiteboard Friday 3 for 1 super special was last modified: September 5th, 2016 by Gareth Morgan
About the Author

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.