web analytics

Minister of Agriculture misled the public

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 pm, May 26th, 2009 - 19 comments
Categories: animal welfare - Tags:

It seems the Minister of Agriculture David Carter misled the public regarding his knowledge of the use of sow crates in pig farming, when he stated on the Sunday Programme on May 17th, “No I didn’t know to the extent to which they were confined other than for farrowing purposes”

During question time in the house today, Green MP Sue Kedgley tabled a letter sent to David Carter in 2005 while he was the opposition spokesperson for agriculture. The letter was from Dr Michael Morris, and detailed a meeting they had had regarding the factory farming of pigs and chickens. Attached to this letter was a scientific peer-reviewed New Zealand publication “reviewing sow welfare and concluding that severe confinement of sows is unacceptable from a welfare perspective”.

Sue Kedgley also tabled eight emails sent to David Carter by constituents before the Sunday Programme, outlining their concerns regarding the intensive confinement of sows in crates. Four of these emails were sent while David Carter was opposition spokesperson on agriculture, and four were sent after he became Minister. At best he was negligent in not following up concerns from constituents, some of whom live in his electorate. The alternative is that he was lying.

Prime Minister John Key also showed his ignorance in the house today. The following is from transcripts of question time today:

Sue Kedgley: Does he have confidence in his Minister of Agriculture, who told the nation on television last week that he had no idea sow crates were widely used in New Zealand, when in fact he was briefed on the issue of sow crates by representatives from the Campaign Against Factory Farming in 2005, provided with a scientific publication concluding that the severe confinement of sows in crates was unacceptable from a welfare perspective, and received numerous e-cards from members of the public pointing out that thousands of pregnant sows are cruelly confined in sow crates; if so, why?

Hon JOHN KEY: Notwithstanding that that question went on just about longer than the documentary on Sunday, the answer is yes, I have complete confidence in the Minister of Agriculture.

Sue Kedgley: Further to his comments that he found the images screened on the Sunday programme very, very disturbing, does he find it even more disturbing to discover that this is in fact a legal and normal practice in the pig industry, and will he be advising his Minister of Agriculture to ban sow crates as soon as possible, on the grounds that they are cruel?

Hon JOHN KEY: As the member will know, the Minister of Agriculture is looking at that issue. It is also important to note that a pig code was established in 2005 and the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is considering that issue at the moment. Those who sit on that board include members from the SPCA and Federated Farmers. If the images that were displayed on the Sunday programme are in any way a reflection of the industry in New Zealand, then I will expect changes to be made to that code and to the industry.

Exactly what further evidence does the Prime Minister need that the use of sow crates is widespread in pig farming? He needs look no further than the current Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare, or the National Animal Welfare Advisory committee (NAWAC).

The Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare says the minimum area for pregnant sows in individual stalls is 1.20m2 (0.6m x 2.0m), and that sows must be able to “stand comfortably in their natural stance and be able to lie comfortably on their sides”. Apparently it isn’t necessary for them to be able to turn around, walk, or do anything else.

On the most recent Sunday Programme the current Chair of NAWAC Peter O’Hara said, “It could be that what you saw represented pretty old-style systems, um but um the more modern ones of that style um are of a similar type.”

NAWAC is the organisation responsible for the current Code of Welfare, and the review to take place later this year. That combined with the ignorant comments from both the Minister of Agriculture and the Prime Minister, can we really have any hope of significant change?

– Rochelle Rees

19 comments on “Minister of Agriculture misled the public ”

  1. Look. Enough of this.

    NO- ONE with a passing interest in the national zeitgeist could NOT KNOW about the hideous industrial intensive farming. Of pigs. Of chix. Of any damn deli on legs.
    Mike KIng is a man about town with some smart friends.

    He has always known.

    All politicians have known.

    Proving it is one thing but with risk of making an ass of an assumption: WE ALL KNOW.
    Out of sight out of mind (off the headlines) is how we function.

    I’ve joked that Mikes management needed a new gig and went for the free-range pitch….

    • Richard 1.1

      In saying that people knew about this does not mean that they agreed with it. John Key, in stating that the SPCA sits on the NAWAC board that established the code, insinuates that SPCA were okay with it!! Truth is that they have always campaigned against it. Just that the media didn’t seem interested. Shame that it took a minor celeb comedian to get some traction with this issue.
      That said, I cannot believe for a moment that David Carter, a farmer and agriculture minister, did not know how widespread the practice was.

  2. the sprout 2

    it was pretty obvious from the interview at the time that David Carter was caught unawares and incapable of dealing with the situation, out of his depth, talking out of both sides of his mouth, and as thick as, ah, pig shit.

    yet another weak link in the National chain for the Opposition to work away on. at this stage they’re getting spoilt for suitable targets. hopefully Safe can continue to exploit Carter’s ineptitude.

    • gingercrush 2.1

      What opposition? Mr. Anderton who acts as Labour’s spokesperson on Agriculture is absolutely quiet and hasn’t said a thing about this issue other than agreeing with someone on National Radio (The Panel).

      And you really shouldn’t go round calling other people thick as pig-shit. You yourself are so alienable you actually believe the lies you spout (or should that be sprout) out.

      • the sprout 2.1.1

        ouch gc, you are so very sharp 🙂

      • What opposition?

        Do you not include the Greens as being part of the opposition? But yes, Labour (and their non-Labour agriculture spokesperson) have been disappointingly silent on this issue. Do we not deserve to know their views?

        The only Labour MP as far as I am aware to have made any public comments on this issue is Grant Robertson on Backbenchers last week. Likewise David Shearer made comments against factory farming at the Quad debate last week. It would be good to know whether or not the party as a whole supports the views of Grant Robertson and David Shearer.

        • gingercrush 2.1.2.1

          Yes the Greens are part of the opposition. But I consider their role in the house to be different. They don’t act as a traditional opposition. While Labour and National when they’re in opposition will typically ask questions that are set to undermine the government. The Greens typically use questions to further their green causes. Animal Welfare is of course a very Green cause.

  3. toad 3

    Um, you came to the same conclusion I did “Guest Post”.

    Carter is bullshitting. Well done Dr MIchael Morris for exposing him Carter.

    • Nice, but I got in first 😉 I also support your second conclusion – if you want your vote to be about animal welfare, the only party to vote for is the Greens, as they are the only party in parliament with an animal welfare policy!

  4. Zaphod Beeblebrox 4

    You can hardly blame the current minister for the situation when it has been tolerated by government, industry and the public for years.
    Had he admitted he knew he would have been lynched by the pig producers and the NFF and probably quietly moved out of his job at the next reshuffle.
    Hopefully we can all grow up and admit the truth.

    • Had he admitted he knew he would have been lynched by the pig producers and the NFF and probably quietly moved out of his job at the next reshuffle.

      So it was right for him to lie?

      And no, I don’t blame the current government for the current situation, however I do blame them for their denial of the current situation, and for refusing to promise to change anything.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1.1

        No it is never acceptable for a public official to lie. I was just explaining his motivations.
        If he did lie under Westminster convention he should resign.
        He is not the only one in denial.
        Check out the NZFSA (NZ Food authority), NZVA (Veterinary Association) and MAF websites- you won’t find any objective comments there.

  5. Chris g 5

    Typical, what a tosser. You know none of them care aswell regardless of what they say. too many federated farmers and too many ‘market should decide’rs rearing down their backs to change their ways.

  6. toad 6

    Good on you Rochelle! You’ve taken this issue much further than I managed.

    Guess I’m a bit of a lazy blogger, but still very committed to animal rights,

    And thanks for the cool stuff re Sue Kedgley’s efforts, which I’d also missed.

  7. lprent 7

    Ok Rochelle – you were right. It needed to go in without the break. I’ve removed it….

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ secures new Pfizer COVID-19 medicine
    New Zealand has secured supplies of another medicine to treat COVID-19, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. “In October, New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to make an advance purchase of a promising new antiviral drug, molnupiravir,” Andrew Little said. “Today I am pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Strong Pipeline for Construction Sector
    Strong pipeline ahead for the construction sector Infrastructure activity forecast to reach $11.2 billion in 2026 Construction sector now the fourth biggest employer with more than 280 000 people working in the industry Residential construction the largest contributor to national construction activity. Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Regenerative agriculture research receives Government boost
    The Government continues to invest in farm sustainability, this time backing two new research projects to investigate the impacts of regenerative farming practices, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Soil health and regenerative agriculture “We’re contributing $2.8 million to a $3.85 million five-year project with co-investment by Synlait Milk and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • David McLean appointed as KiwiRail chair
    David McLean has been appointed as Chair of KiwiRail Holdings Ltd, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Dr David Clark and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced today. “Minister Clark and I are confident that David’s extensive business knowledge and leadership experience, including his time as former Chief Executive and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Turkey announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Zoe Coulson-Sinclair as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Turkey. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Turkey’s relationship is one of mutual respect and underpinned by our shared Gallipoli experience,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Turkey is also a generous ANZAC Day host and has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Consul-General in Guangzhou
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Rachel Crump as New Zealand’s next Consul-General in Guangzhou, China. “China is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant relationships – it is our largest trading partner, and an influential regional and global actor,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “As the capital of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities
    The Government joins the disabled community of Aotearoa New Zealand in marking and celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Minister for Disabilty Issues Carmel Sepuloni said. The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Advisory panel member appointed
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the appointments of Graeme Speden as the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Ben Bateman as a member of the Inspector-General’s Advisory Panel.  “These are significant roles that assist the Inspector-General with independent oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies,” Jacinda Ardern said. “While ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Five million COVID-19 tests processed
    Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall has congratulated testing teams right around New Zealand for reaching the five million tests milestone. Today, an additional 31,780 tests were processed, taking the total since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to 5,005,959. “This really is an incredible and sustained team ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for extra ICU capacity
    Care for the sickest New Zealanders is getting a major boost from the Government, with plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding intensive care-type services, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. “Through good planning, we have avoided what the COVID-19 pandemic has done in some countries, where ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • “THE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF NEW ZEALAND’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID.”
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The legal and constitutional implications of New Zealand’s fight against COVID
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Review interim report released
    Health Minister Andrew Little has released an interim report by an independent panel reviewing the national pharmaceuticals-buying agency Pharmac. Pharmac was established in 1993 and is responsible for purchasing publicly funded medicines for New Zealanders, including those prescribed by GPs or administered in hospitals. The review, chaired by former Consumer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Appointment to Network for Learning board
    Former MP Clare Curran has been appointed to the board of Crown company Network for Learning (N4L), Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. Hon Clare Curran served as a Member of Parliament for Dunedin South from 2008-2010. During this time, she held a number of ministerial portfolios including Broadcasting, Communications and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Putting home ownership within reach of Pacific Aotearoa
    Pacific community groups and organisations will get tools to help them achieve home ownership with the implementation of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Pacific Housing Initiative, said Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. In July 2021, MPP launched the Pacific Community Housing Provider Registration Support programme and the Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Coastal shipping will help keep New Zealand’s supply chain buoyant
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today welcomed the release of the Coastal Shipping Investment Approach State-of-Play report as an important step towards a more sustainable coastal shipping sector, which will further diversify New Zealand’s supply chain. “This Government is committed to strengthening our domestic supply chain by making coastal shipping a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Response to Human Rights Commission's reports into violence towards disable people
    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.   Thank you for that introduction Hemi and thank you for inviting me to respond on behalf of Government to the release of these two important reports (Whakamanahia Te Tiriti, Whakahaumarutia te Tangata -Honour the Treaty, Protect the Person and Whakamahia te Tūkino kore ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Law change strengthens petroleum decommissioning regulation
    Petroleum permit and licence holders operating in New Zealand will now have an explicit statutory requirement to carry out and fund the decommissioning of oil and gas fields after a new law was given Royal assent today, says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods. Once in effect The Crown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
    A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago