National Party leader Simon Bridges has come out swinging at the Emissions Trading Scheme this morning, labelling the proposed idea as nothing more than a "cheeky tax grab" by the Government.
Bridges appeared on TVNZ1's Breakfast to discuss the Government's proposal to reduce agricultural greenhouse gases which would include farmers paying for five per cent of their total emissions costs by 2025.
"It's this simple - it's about positive solutions in science and technology and working through on-farm solutions, not taxing the crap out of stuff and that's what they've done," Mr Bridges said.
"There's positive initiatives that get us there, not just a cheeky tax grab from Julie Anne Genter and Jacinda Ardern."
Instead of the tax - which would see farmers pay one cent per kilo of beef, one cent per kilo of milk solids and three cents per kilo of lamb - Bridges says technology should be invested in farms to help reduce emissions.
"If it's bad for farmers, it's bad for our economy. If it's bad for our economy, it's bad for all New Zealanders."
When Breakfast presenter John Campbell pressed for what technologies Mr Bridges wants investment in, the leader of the opposition admitted there wasn't anything currently available to address the situation.
"But that's the issue," Bridges argued.
"So you tax it, they haven't got a meaningful technology or innovation to do the business and make a change.
"It's pain without gain for our farmers... that means ultimately culling the cows."
Earlier on Breakfast, Greens Party leader James Shaw said technology was already being implemented.
"One of the things New Zealand has gotten quite good at is working out how to [produce food] in ways that are increasingly efficient over time," Shaw said.
"Our emissions per unit of production have actually come down about 20 per cent over the course of the last 20 years.
"So that is actually skills and know-how and technology that we can work on with the rest of the world on to help reduce global emissions from food production."