50 Shades of Green

Media Stories

Relevant news articles and opinions from various media sources

Farmer sick of being labelled a 'climate vandal'

Sheep and beef farmer Dave Read says he's fed up with people demonising him as someone who's contributing to climate change.Listen to his interview with RNZ about why he is asking people to check their assumptions about farmers.

Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, RNZ –  25 Feb 2022

Carbon Farming Impacts

The issue of carbon farming is back under the spotlight with speculation around the future of the iconic Huiarua Station. REX Today's Dominic George speaks with Gisborne District Councillor and farmer, Kerry Worsnop for her perspective.

Magic Talk REX Today (Audio Clip) –  19 January 2022

"Mass rural protest across the country"

Kathryn Ryan interviews Groundswell organiser, Jamie McFadden and Kerry Worsnop, sheep & beef farmer and Gisborne district councillor.

RNZ Nine to Noon (Audio Clip) – 16 July 2021

Time to recognise farmers for their carbon sequestration?

In the first study of its kind, spacial analysis mapping of sheep and beef farms has revealed significant levels of woody vegetation. The study authors say if the role this plays in capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide were taken into account many farms could already be close to net carbon neutral. Kathryn Ryan discusses this study with Dr Brad Case & Dr David Hall.

RNZ Nine to Noon (Audio Clip) – 3 Nov 2020


Landscape change 'by stealth', as working farms continue to sell to forestry

Farmers say sales of pastoral land for conversion to forestry are putting huge pressure on rural communities, after three working sheep and beef farms in the King Country were sold to an overseas investor.

Stuff – 22 April 2021


"Out of control megalomaniac Shane Jones"

Kerre McIvor from NewstalkZB shares her opinion with her listeners on Shane Jones's response to the 50 Shades of Green organised protest march to Parliament on 14 November.

NewstalkZB (Audio Clip) – 15 November 2019


Hundreds of farmers march on Parliament

Hundreds of famers are marching to Parliament in Wellington today, to protest what they say are unfair emission reduction targets, water regulation and better rural mental health services. The rural sector says it is being excluded from critical decisions and is asking the Government for a level playing field and a fair go

1 News Now (Video) – 14 November 2019


Who Owns New Zealand?

Who is New Zealand's biggest landowner? RNZ journalist Kate Newton crunched the data, and the results may surprise you.

A foreign-owned forestry company has bought up more than 77,000 hectares of forests in just four years, to become the third largest landowner in New Zealand.

Newsroom Podcast (22min) – 7 October 2019


The climate change blame game

In spite of the abuse heaped on farmers by urbanites, the causes of climate change are a town and country problem.
It is pointless to pit “their” dirty rivers and belching cows against “our” urban traffic and sewage discharge. Yet the abuse of farmers by self-righteous urbanites is becoming so severe that it is probably contributing – along with debt and isolation – to serious mental-health problems in rural New Zealand.

The Listener Editorial – 28 September 2019


Green Rush: Will pines really save the planet?

Vast new pine forests are being hailed as a solution to New Zealand's carbon emissions deficit - and promise a lucrative pay-day for investors. But farmers say they're gutting rural communities, not all environmentalists see them as a silver bullet, and the profits are largely being reaped by foreign owners.

RNZ – In Depth – 8 October 2019


Tauranga mayoral candidate explains his submission against Zero Carbon Bill

Geologist and Tauranga mayoral candidate Andrew Hollis joins Peter Williams to discuss his submission against the Zero Carbon Bill. (12 minute radio interview)

Magic Talk – 24 September 2019


Farmers feel New Zealand has turned its back on them

Sully Alsop from the Wairarapa, who was runner-up New Zealand Young Farmer of the Year, said farmers would appreciate a more supportive approach from Government in dealing with new legislation which will severely affect their businesses.

Stuff – 13 September 2019

Open Letter On National Policy Freshwater Statement

"This government’s approach to environmental policy is undermining the mental health and well-being of the pastoral sector. Government has contributed strongly toward turning the NZ public against farming, which has had a severe impact on farmers’ self-esteem and on their ability to cope with a rapidly changing policy environment."

Chris Garland, BakerAg – 11 September 2019


The father and son shearing duo who both have world titles

Sir David Fagan is known as the best shearer in the country, with over 600 wins, a number of world records and many world titles. His 27-year-old son Jack has just touched down in the country after winning the World Shearing Championships Speed Shear in France.

NewsHub – The AM Show (Video) – 9 August


Tree plan on only marginal land

A company established by four of the country’s largest carbon emitters is vowing to buy only marginal land on which to plant in trees to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Drylandcarbon was formed in March by Air NZ, Contact Energy, Genesis Energy and Z Energy.

Farmers Weekly – 8 August 2019


Big Tick for Farmers

The red meat industry hopes to ramp up its Taste Pure Nature brand campaign on the back of the latest international climate change report. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is being welcomed by New Zealand farming leaders as an endorsement of our low impact systems and the importance of maintaining food production.

Farmers Weekly – 9 August 2019

New research shows perils of mass forestry planting on productive sheep and beef land

New research shows perils of mass forestry planting on productive sheep and beef land

Large scale conversion of sheep and beef farms to forestry as a result of the Zero Carbon Bill will have a significant negative impact on rural New Zealand, according to research released by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

Beef and Lamb NZ – 8 August 2019

Climate change consultation news

Agricultural emissions discussion turns to frustrations from farmers

Climate change consultation news
Farmers from Manawatū and beyond are frustrated their efforts to reduce emissions aren't already recognised. Officials from the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry for Primary Industries spoke recently to a crowd in Palmerston North.

Stuff – 6 August 2019


Billion trees policy 'spells end of farming'

You can make almost double just by shutting up your farm and not worrying about production in forestry if sheep and beef farmers convert to carbon sink farming, says Makairo farmer Lincoln Grant. "It spells the end of farming in the Tararua District at this stage but its all dependent upon Government policy," he says.

NZ Herald – 5 August 2019


Let them eat bark

New Zealand faces several climate change challenges, thanks to being an island nation and having an economy that relies on primary production. One solution to our country's challenges being touted at the moment is the planting of even more pine trees as forest sinks to offset our carbon emissions.

News Hub – Opinion by Mark Chapman, CEO of Horticulture New Zealand – 6 August 2019

Kerry Worsnop

Rural life under threat as forestry's canopy grows

When Kerry Worsnop and her neighbours walked away from a farm auction last month, they left in a state of shock. Forestry money had arrived and it had unexpectedly left their thriving community's future in its shade.

Stuff – Farming – 5 August 2019

Magic Talk – Magic Afternoons – 2 August 2019


How overseas firms could leave us with dying, carbon re-emitting forests

In the escalating rhetoric of the forestry-versus-farming debate, it’s been said that planting a forest on a piece of land is little different to concreting it. It’s unlikely to be good for anything else ever again without a lot of perishingly expensive remediation.

The Listener – By Jane Clifton – 6 July 2019


Trees replace top cattle

As far north as sale yards get in New Zealand the Broadwood selling centre in Northland hosted one of the country’s more notable capital stock clearing sales last week. On behalf of Mark and Michelle Hammond of Herekino, Carrfields Livestock held the sale of a Hereford beef herd that put 50 years of top-quality genetics under the hammer, the animals’ grazing land destined for pine trees.

Farmers Weekly – Beef – 5 July 2019

Pine trees cast shadow of death over NZ native plants and animals

Pine trees cast shadow of death over NZ native plants

In this country's frantic race to deliver on a throw-away election comment of 1 billion trees, we seem to be chasing numbers and not quality. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of productive farmland is being removed from livestock production by investors chasing a potential windfall from a speculated rising carbon price.

NZ Herald – Conservation Comment – 15 July 2019


Carbon Farmers. Interview with Andy Scott from 50SOG

The sudden demand for land on which to plant trees has had unforeseen effects on our farmers. Andy Scott speaks about the effect of increased land prices on farmers in his region as well as the importance of planting the right trees in the right place.

95bFM – 4 July 2019 (Audio)

Tracey Collis: Forestry hurts rural community

Tracey Collis: Forestry hurts rural community

The rapid expansion of forestry throughout the Tararua is causing much angst and stress for our communities and it concerns me to watch our people genuinely hurting in so many ways.

NZ Herald – The Country – 3 July 2019


The Controversial Zero Carbon Bill

"Businesses that produce carbon dioxide will be able to plant trees to offset their emissions. But the Bill specifically prevents farmers who produce methane from doing the same. This is in spite of many farmers already owning land suitable for planting wood lots."

NZCPR.com – Dr Muriel Newman – 9 June 2019 

One billion trees: Where are they being planted?

One billion trees: Where are they being planted?

Where is the government at with the scheme to plant one billion trees in ten years? It follows concerns prime pasture is being converted into lucrative forestry land. Kathryn Ryan talks to Head of MPI's forestry service Te Uru Rākau's Julie Collins.

RNZ – Nine to Noon – 24 June 2019


A Green Future - Are Forests the Way Forward?

The lobby group 50 Shades of Green says it wants the sale of productive farmland to stop until there's been an assessment of the social, economic and environmental impact of the Government's Billion Trees programme.

RNZ – Country Life – 14 June (Audio Excerpt of Mike Butterick of 50 Shades of Green and Katie Milne, Federated Farmers National President)


Climate change and the rural way of life

The government’s environmental policy is creating major tensions in farming communities. Alex Braae went to a meeting in Taumarunui to see it play out.

The Spin Off – 15 June 2019

Sign Petition

Shane Jones accepts there are concerns over forestry policies

Shane Jones says that he is speaking to officials and seeking information on the impact of forestry policies.

Newstalk ZB Audio
(Interview by Heather Du Plessis-Allan) – 6 June


Climate change expert: how to get to zero carbon

New Zealand is one of the few countries that has set itself a goal of zero emissions. It's particularly bold given our huge agriculture sector.

RNZ – Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan – 19 March  

William Beetham

Plea for halt on carbon farming

More than 150 people at a meeting in Masterton organised by Federated Farmers were united in imploring the government to “stop and think before you destroy our communities” by encouraging forestry on farmland.

Wairarapa Times-Age – 4 June  

Hadleigh Station in Wairarapa. At the time Lone Star bought it in 2012, it carried 15,000 stock units.

Austrian aristocrat buys second farm to convert to forest

Austrian aristocrat Countess Veronika Leeb-Goess-Saurau has snapped up a sheep and beef farm in Wairarapa, to add to the northern Hawke's Bay property she bought two years ago.

Stuff – 5 June 2019 

Forestry with Track Cut

'A recipe for disaster': Rural lobby group launched to oppose billion trees policy

A lobby group (50 Shades of Green) has been formed as concern grows about the impact of the Government's billion trees policy on rural communities.

Newshub – 17 May 2019 

Nathan Guy on Climate Change

Nathan Guy in Parliament on Climate Change (Video)

Government needs a decent strategy to reassure rural communities they won't get hammered by the One Billion Tree programme. The clock is ticking...

Nathan Guy: Facebook – 24 May 2019 


Lobby group 50 Shades of Green calls for pause on blanket forestry

The Government needs to hit the pause button on policies which have led to thousands of hectares of hill country farmland being converted to blanket forestry in the last year, a lobby group says.

Stuff – 22 May 2019 

Climate change - it's fossil fuels not farming that's the problem

Climate change - it's fossil fuels not farming that's the problem

Comment: Climate change is more about burning fossil fuels than the farming of animals, writes Federated Farmers climate change spokesman Andrew Hoggard.

Comment: NZ Herald- 31 May 2019 

Forestry 'gold rush' underway in Wairoa

Forestry 'gold rush' underway in Wairoa

Warnings a modern day gold rush is underway as productive farm land is sold to make room for lucrative forestry. Farmers and community leaders in Wairoa have become the latest group to raise concerns

RNZ – Nine to Noon Interview – 17 May 2019


Selling sheep and beef farms to forestry is a threat to food and trade

In November 2017, Shane Jones visited Wairoa. His pockets stuffed with millions of dollars for regional development, his mind set on getting unemployed cousins off the couch to plant a billion trees......

Dominion Post Editorial – 18 May 2019


Trees and crops won’t save planet

There's been a lot of good news recently and I’m only surprised the country isn’t shouting from the rooftops. Our prosperity is generated from exports and the story around exports is all good.

Farmers Weekly (Alternative View) – 6 May 2019


Fears forests will eat farms

Forecasters predict up to another 5.4 million hectares of trees will be needed to offset our carbon emissions so New Zealand’s primary sector and rural landscape will be changed irrevocably.

Farmers Weekly – 6 May 2019