DairyNZ reliant on NZIER research

  • 19/09/2019

The attempts by DairyNZ CEO, Tim Mackle, to discredit the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) is undermined by ten years of DairyNZ citing NZIER research.

"DairyNZ can’t have it both ways. Either NZIER research is respected, or it’s not," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.

In 2010, DairyNZ commissioned NZIER to measure how much dairying and its exports are worth to the economy. Last year, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand commissioned NZIER to provide an analysis of how the dairy sector shares its growth. 

Instead of rejecting these reports, DairyNZ used them to illustrate the importance of the dairy sector. DairyNZ has repeated these findings in submissions, RMA plan cases, media releases and factsheets - whenever they wanted to emphasise their sector’s importance: 

  • Then DairyNZ Regional Policy Manager James Ryan cited NZIER research in a submission to Environment Canterbury in August 2014. 
  • In May 2019, Dr Graeme Doole, Principal Economist and Leader of the Economics Team at DairyNZ cited NZIER research in his evidence on the Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1. 
  • DairyNZ’s NZIER commissioned research has been cited in appeals before the Environment Court. 
  • DairyNZ’s submission to the New Zealand Productivity Commission in October 2017 cited NZIER research, as did DairyNZ’s submission on the NZ ETS Review Consultation in February 2016. 
  • In 2018, the then NZIER Deputy Chief Executive was invited by DairyNZ to be on the independent panel to determine a recommendation on how to share the costs of the M. bovis response 
  • DairyNZ Dairy Sector Quick Facts on DairyNZ’s website cites NZIER research.

 "Perhaps best highlighting how highly DairyNZ rate NZIER’s research capabilities is that a job description for DairyNZ’s ‘Economic Analyst’ says that a ‘key relationship’ is with ‘research organisations, (e.g. NZIER)’"

 In a report commissioned by Fish & Game New Zealand, NZIER concludes: "Due to the relatively small size of the dairy industry, the impacts of the government reforms are unlikely to be major at the national level, and not felt for many years due to the long lead in times proposed." NZIER also highlighted that in total, the dairy industry only accounts for 3 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP.

"DairyNZ cannot cite NZIER research when it suits them and dismiss it when it doesn’t just because it was commissioned by environmental groups.

 "It's time DairyNZ moved to support Government policies for cleaning up our waterways instead of denying the facts and delaying change."

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