A new report paints a stark picture of the environment under relentless pressure with urban sprawl and dairy intensification swallowing up productive food growing land. The Environment Ministry and Stats NZ report documents land use in recent decades.
It is the latest in a series of environmental reports based on themes such as air, marine, freshwater, and climate. The report finds the area of highly productive land lost to housing increased by 54 percent between 2002 and 2019.
In the past 25 years land use has intensified – more livestock, fertilisers and irrigation – although overall there are actually fewer farms producing more product on less land.
Kathryn speaks with MFE Chief Science Advisor Alison Collins, Associate Professor Amanda Black, of Bio Protection Aotearoa at Lincoln University, and Mike Chapman, Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive.