New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet.
The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students how they can help to reduce emissions, including advice to "eat less meat and dairy".
Shane Jones, a NZ First MP and Cabinet minister, lashed out at the resource last week, telling Newshub he doesn't want the "politically correct brigade colonising my dietary habits".
The party’s spokesperson for agriculture, Mark Patterson, said last week he's "all for teaching the science of climate change" but described the dietary advice as "out of context".
Mr Patterson said there is "danger" in "underplaying the nutritional benefits of dairy and red meat in a balanced diet", telling Newshub it can help with iron deficiency.
Speaking to Magic Talk, Mr Peters supported his MPs saying the prospect of eating less meat could damage the country's agriculture industry and lead to job losses. He said the "climate community" in New Zealand is "seriously geared up for a sustainable future and very much aware of where it's got to go as we go towards the next 30 years".
"Exports give people jobs in this country and you've got this group of elitists challenging the very existence of these jobs by their extremist, absolutist statements,” the NZ First leader added.