"Three companies want to build massive dairy farms in the Mackenzie Basin, where cows would live in "cubicle" stables most of the time.
Opponents warn the plan will tarnish New Zealand's environmental reputation.
Proposals by the three companies for resource consents for 16 new dairy farm developments managing nearly 18,000 cows housed in cubicle stables are before Environment Canterbury (ECan).
Under the plans, cows will be confined in cubicle stables 24 hours a day for eight months of the year, from March to October, and allowed outside for 12 hours a day from November to February.Grow cows where they grow best. Diversity, sustainability and working with nature instead of in opposition. It's pretty basic really but until we front up to our 'cow problem' we will only be giving lip-service to our clean-green mantra.