Christopher Luxon calls New Zealand 'very negative, wet, whiney, inward-looking'

Farmers won't have to pay for their emissions for another seven years under a new proposal from the National Party. 

It unveiled its agriculture emissions reduction plan on Monday.

It would see a separate emissions scheme for the sector, but not until 2030 - five years later than current regulations allow.

There would be new restrictions on converting prime farmland into carbon forest farms, including a three-year ban on whole-farm conversion on productive land.

As previously indicated, the party would overturn the ban on gene editing and genetic modification, and set up a new regulator to check low-emission grasses, feed, and vaccines.

National leader Christopher Luxon was donning the Red Bands on Monday, surrounded by Swanndris, and having a good old whinge.

"We have become a very negative, wet, whiney, inward-looking country and we have lost the plot and we have got to get our mojo back," Luxon said to one farmer.

For National, that means getting farmers back onside, so they're kicking the emissions can down the paddock by five years.

"We are going to introduce agricultural pricing but we are going to get the balance right and get the sequencing right," said Luxon.

The Government's aiming for an agricultural emissions scheme by 2025 but that's looking unlikely given the stalemate on He Waka Eke Noa, a plan it designed with 14 sector groups. 

"There was a plan produced a year ago by the sector. The Government blew it up, shot it to bits and killed it," Luxon said. 

So National's got all fourteen groups on side, right? 

"Ah we have good support. I can't remember whether it's all 14. I know Todd has spoken to many of them," said Luxon.

He pulled in his agricultural spokesperson Todd McClay to confirm: no. 

National would also allow farmers to offset their own emissions with forests and wetlands on their own farms - but carbon-farming as a whole gets a huge shake-up. 

They want to banish productive farmland being converted into pine carbon farms. They'll ban it for three years and put further restrictions on its scale. 

"The three-year ban is quite sensible. It gives us the time to actually address the policy settings that drives this," said Beef + Lamb New Zealand director Kate Acland. 

The final pillar in National's policy is to scrap the GE and GM ban, allowing things like low-emission grasses, feed, and vaccines. 

"It's available in 35 other countries and it's not yet available here in New Zealand. That's insanely stupid," said Luxon. 

But Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said some businesses get benefits from our GE-free country.

"A number of our export industries proudly put GE free on their labels and actually make a lot of money from that," he said. 

Labour's rolling its eyes at the policy for being too weak.

"The National Party seem to be treating the climate with contempt," Hipkins said.

ACT's rolling its eyes because it's too familiar.

"Look it's good they're moving towards ACT. That's good for us, them, and NZ farmers. However I noticed they're still just kicking the can down the road," said leader David Seymour. 

So expect more photo ops on farms from Luxon as we head into the election as he tries to shake his corporate image.

Now he'll be trying to milk farmers for every vote he can.