Learning to stick your head up for what’s right

Years ago at polytechnic, I learnt an important lesson about making sure you had support before you put your head above the rest of the crowd and speak out. It could have ended poorly, but with the support of those more senior to me and a will to do what was right for the greater good, a more desirable outcome was attained for not only me, but my classmates as well.

Learnings from that experience have been very valuable now. I have learnt that being a member of the Federated Farmers executive often means we spend time with our heads sticking out above the rest of the crowd.

What guides us in this decision making is the people (i.e. you) who get involved in the discussion and by aiming to make the best decisions with the information that is in front of us at the time.

The Federated Farmers Otago and North Otago executives have recently sent a letter to Otago regional councillors asking them to be brave and delay the notification of the Land and Water Regional Plan until the government has made changes to the national regulations.

Delaying the notification of this plan is important for both our rural and urban ratepayers.

As we have seen in the last week, the Clutha District Council has come out with consultation around rates increases of about 25% a year for the next three years.

If the land and water plan was to go through before the government make changes, these rates rises are only the start. For our urban friends on wastewater, the plan is seeking to see treated wastewater disposed to land.

We have asked the question of how the ORC believe this can be achieved and at what cost and have not yet seen a viable option presented. Current regulation would mean that this land couldn’t have animals farmed on it.

Councillors are going to vote this month on whether to delay notification of the land and water plan, so I urge you to make contact with your local councillor and encourage them to vote for a delay.

It is always easier to stick your head out when you know you have support behind you.