Waikato Healthy Rivers Plan Change

Regional councils have plans that dictate what you can and can’t do on your farm. When these plans are being developed or changed, councils seek community feedback. This is your chance to have an impact on what the final plan will look like.

Submissions

We believe that farmers standing up and speaking on proposed changes is the most powerful way to impact change, so we have developed workshops and tools that give you the skills and confidence to speak up for your sector.

Since this is your opportunity to influence the rules and regulations you will farm under, it’s critical that you take the time to write a submission to say what you like and don't like about the plan and suggest better alternatives.

B+LNZ's submission

As well as encouraging farmers to speak up directly, we also lodged a comprehensive submission on behalf of our levy-paying farmers.

Based on farmer feedback and using our in-house environmental policy expertise, our submission details aspects of the proposed plan change that impact sheep and beef farmers and suggests amended wording to improve the plan’s workability.

Why should you make a submission?

Making a submission is your opportunity to influence the rules and regulations. It’s critical that you say what you like about the plan and what you don’t like – and suggest alternatives that will work better for you.

Submission workshops

During the submission period, B+LNZ ran nine workshops across the Waikato, attracting more than 700 farmers.

These workshops kicked off with an overview of the key policy issues, before participants were asked what they "like, wish and wonder" about the proposed policy. There were tips on how to communicate in language that would resonate with policy makers – increasing the likelihood of farmers affecting change.

The second half of the workshop involved farmers drafting submissions, with our environment team on hand to help.

Submission templates and examples

We have produced two submission templates to assist you, when writing your submission. They are exactly the same – just that one is suitable to print out and handwrite on, while the other is a Word document you can type directly into.

We’ve also provided a couple of example farmer submissions. One uses the table format we’ve provided in the submission template, while the example groups provisions in relation to topic and comments on them under their headings. Both approaches are fine, so simply pick the approach you’re most comfortable with.

Note: Please do not copy the content of these example submissions, as this will erode the power of your submission. The examples are designed to give you an idea of what other farmers are submitting on, and how to structure up the final submission. Do tell your unique story.

What's next?

It’s important when making a submission that you tick the box to say you wish to present at the hearing. Even if you change your mind later, ticking the box means you still have that option open to you. If you don’t tick the box, then you can’t speak at the hearing.

While the hearing is several months away, take 10 minutes now to think about evidence you may want on hand at the public hearing. This could be on-farm photos you may want to take or documents you need copies of.

Jump ahead to the 'preparing for hearing' section on the timeline above to understand more about what you can do to prepare.

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