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“Christmas is a great time for relaxation with family and friends but it’s also a very busy period for farmers the length and breadth of New Zealand,” said Federated president, Don Nicolson.
“From beekeepers engaged in pollination right through to dairy farmers milking, Christmas is a busy time. It is also a time for everybody, farmers included, to take stock and be thankful for what comes off the land.
“At this time it is important to remember the human dimension. I really feel for the owners and staff of the mushroom farm in Morrinsville as well as the farmers in the Taupo catchment. Their Christmas and outlook for 2009 is grim. This all stems from an unfeeling interpretation of the RMA and an unsympathetic Environment Waikato.
“I hope when people are tucking into Christmas lamb that they have pause to think of how that food got to the table. Christmas is a time to thank the farmers and farm workers of New Zealand for creating the wealth all New Zealanders enjoy.
“2009 may not be a stellar year economically however it could be a lot worse. We could have taken the advice of many an economic pundit like Rod Oram and moved away from agriculture as the basis for our economy.
“Thank goodness we didn’t as people may not need a new LCD TV but everyone needs food. Farmers are not just for Christmas.
“From the farmers of New Zealand we wish everyone a very merry Christmas. If you excuse a sour note to end on, we are hoping for a wet spell in Gisborne-Wairoa, the Hawke’s Bay and the Waikato. Sorry," Mr Nicolson included.