The regulations require farmers who are undertaking intensive winter grazing to comply with certain criteria if they don’t want to apply for a resource consent. The Government is proposing changes to those criteria that it hopes will make them more workable and therefore easier for farmers to implement. It is also proposing to further delay the implementation of the rules.
We’ve now published a factsheet setting out what’s proposed and our analysis of the proposals. You can find the factsheet here: The Government’s consultation on proposed changes to low-slope map for stock exclusion regulations (PDF, 243)
We’ve worked closely with DairyNZ and Federated Farmers and what we’re saying in the factsheet broadly lines up with their views.
In the factsheet we welcome the move to more practical management approaches, as shown by the removal of the unworkable pugging depth and sowing date rules. However, we outline several areas of remaining concern:
- the revised 10-degree slope rule for winter grazing, which we think is more restrictive than it needs to be
- the certified freshwater farm plan process as it relates to intensive winter grazing, which is currently lacking detail and may in fact not offer a workable and desirable alternative to a consenting regime
- the importance of industry groups such as B+LNZ being able to work with officials on developing the further guidance referred to in the discussion document – this guidance will cover issues such as how critical source areas will be identified and protected.
If you want to make your own submission, we have provided guidance on how to do this. We are also planning on releasing a template submission next week that you can use.
As we outlined to farmers in our email on the freshwater consultations a few weeks ago, it’s important to note that the proposed changes are a positive for farmers and are the result of a successful collaborative process. That process involved pressure from farmers in Southland publicly providing on-the-ground evidence of the issue, complemented by technical support from industry groups such as B+LNZ, Federated Farmers and DairyNZ working together to recommend policy solutions.
We’re committed to continuing this collaborative approach. As with all the freshwater consultations, we’re in frequent contact with other industry groups to identify where our positions align and the best use of our combined resources.
You can find the intensive winter grazing consultation factsheet and info on all four consultations relating to the essential freshwater package here: https://beeflambnz.com/low-slope-map-changes-and-freshwater-farm-plans