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Research Results

Growing support to reduce fertiliser use, cow numbers

27 Jan 23

Growing support to reduce fertiliser use, cow numbers
6 in every 10 adults say improve dairy environmental performance

New polling shows growing public support for calls to cut fertiliser, regulate the dairy industry to protect water and, while not yet a majority, lower dairy cow numbers.

The poll results have been released by Greenpeace, from a nationally representative Horizon Research survey undertaken late last year, show 61% of New Zealanders favour regulating the dairy industry in order to reduce water contamination and greenhouse gas emissions.

This is a significant increase from 48% in a similar poll only a year ago, in December 2021. It also shows that a majority (55%) support phasing out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. 

The poll shows there is widespread and growing support for regulating the dairy industry to achieve cleaner waters, reduce climate emissions, and to phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.

The poll also shows increasing support for the Government to introduce laws to lower the number of dairy cows. In December 2021, 51% opposed passing laws to lower the number of dairy cows in the country. This has dropped to 44%, and in November 2022, 33% support the idea (significantly up from 25% a year ago).

Greenpeace Aotearoa senior campaigner Steve Abel says the results echo findings in a TVNZ poll undertaken in May 2022, when 34% voted yes to reducing cows. 

View the Horizon report on this survey.