Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says the finalised essential freshwater policy and standards released today appear generally consistent with what was announced in May – but there are still complexities to work through.
Chairman of B+LNZ Andrew Morrison says there has been little time to fully digest the details.
“B+LNZ was cautiously positive about the May announcement because the statements appeared to take on board much of our feedback during the consultation process.
“However, there are areas we’re still not happy with, such as resource consent requirements for all winter grazing on forage crops and the grandparenting rules for hill country cropping. The rules released today have also introduced a new concept of a baseline state for water quality which is concerning.
“There’s a lot of complexity in these rules and it’s going to take time to work through all the detail and there will be some challenges in implementation and significant costs for farmers.
“We’ll continue to go through the rules in detail and will be letting sheep and beef farmers know what the rules mean and what they’ll need to do – and when – as soon as possible. We’re already working on the tools and resources to help them.
“We’ve constantly sought to engage with the Government at all points throughout this process and are committed to working constructively with the Government and regional councils in the coming months to ensure practical implementation of the new rules.
“It’s also important to note the huge amount of work our farmers have done in terms of protecting and enhancing waterways. Our sector’s 70 catchment groups are testament to the commitment farmers have to being good stewards of the environment.”