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The vision is clear – divert attention from a disturbing fact: New Zealand’s freshwater is in severe crisis, and it’s probably due to dairy farming.

Two-thirds of New Zealand’s rivers are too polluted to swim in and half its lakes are irreversibly damaged – and many independent environmentalists, scientists and economists believe it is primarily a by-product of the growth of the country’s dairy industry.  

“Water quality is also the number one issue for Kiwis when it comes to dairy farming and the public wants to know more…” so what do Diary NZ do? They make a disingenuous ad about how it is everyone’s responsibility to clean up the waterways.

See the ad here

Don’t tell us we love our waterways, we know that – obviously, it’s clearly important to Kiwi culture… and of course, human survival. Why not tell us the positive steps you are taking besides spending heaps of money on an insincere ad which points the finger at us, the public, saying it’s our responsibility too.

The growth of the dairy industry has been made possible by irrigation schemes which deliver the massive volumes of water needed to produce milk. Bearing in mind every litre of milk produced requires about 1,000 litres of water.

The most irrigated region of New Zealand is Canterbury – a region plagued by drought. Although Canterbury has seen significant economic growth on the back of dairy farming, over the same period of time, has also seen a drastic decline in the quality of its waterways. Let’s not forget Chlorinegate.

On top of this, Ngāi Tahu Farming is currently cutting down 6757 hectares of forest just north of Christchurch to make way for 14,000 dairy cows. 14,000 cows!!! How smart is this move with climate change scientists predicting more droughts on the horizon? Surely this will compromise our waterways further.

New Zealand pitches itself to the rest of the world as this clean green paradise filled with the purities of nature. When the reality is our actions fly in the face of global consumer behaviour of consuming fewer meat products for the benefit of our bodies, and our planet. 

Lets cut the bullshit – Dairy NZ’s ad is an example of apathetic marketing with no substance or sincerity. Don’t tell me it’s my responsibility to clean up our waterways when the dairy industry is the main culprit and are the ones where the real differences can be made.

I’ll give you a clue as to how we can all play a part in improving our waterways – stand up to companies and corporations that are converting forests to dairy farms and cut down as much as we can on our meat product consumption.