MPI are asking for your feedback on the proposed freshwater farm plan system, the content of plans, how to transition to the system, and how plans will be implemented.
They are also asking for feedback on changes to the low slope map in the stock exclusion regulations.
Public submissions are being accepted from 26 July until 12 September via online versions of the two discussion documents.
Supporting information is available here for:
The consultation will also include meetings with farmers, agricultural sector groups, Iwi and Māori, councils, and environmental groups.
Freshwater farm plans were introduced last year as part of the Government’s Essential Freshwater package, which aims to show material improvements to freshwater within five years and restore our waterways to health within a generation.
Freshwater farm plans are intended to provide a practical way for farmers to meet the freshwater standards and to reduce the regulatory burden.
MPI are encouraging all farmers to take the time to understand how the freshwater farm plan system will affect them and get started now on the practical steps they can put in place to make the transition easier.Feedback on the stock exclusion low slope maps includes questions on:
- A different mapping approach called ‘local terrain averaging’
- Altitude limits and removing tussock and depleted grassland from the map
- The balance between using the low slope map and freshwater farm plans for identifying areas for stock exclusion.
It is vital that as many people and groups have their say and provide feedback on the either one or both of the discussion documents. Everyone’s feedback will be carefully considered with the outcomes released later this year.
The Government is listening to, and helping farmers and growers as shown already by the work with the sector on He Waka Eke Noa, integrated farm planning and ensuring farmers are using the best practices for intensive winter grazing.The Essential Freshwater package requires:
- Regional Councils to have a regional freshwater plan notified by the end of 2024 to set catchment limits and give effect to Te Mana o te Wai
- Rules that have immediate effect to manage a number of effects from farming activities and act as a ‘stop gap’ until regional plans come into effect
- Regulations on water metering and stock exclusion
- Freshwater-farm plans for all pastoral systems over 20 ha or hort over 5ha