The Government has announced some changes to regulations after its recent consultation on potential changes to the low-slope map for stock exclusion. While some positive progress has been made, B+LNZ will continue to push for further changes.
In June and July, the Ministry for the Environment consulted on potential changes to the map to address its inaccuracies.
In response to feedback, including from B+LNZ, Federated Farmers and Deer Industry New Zealand’s joint submission, the Government has announced some changes to the regulations including:
- an exception from the map for the Upper Taieri Scroll Plain
- exceptions for land that has a DoC grazing concession or Crown Pastoral lease that limits the number of stock grazing the land
- a new clause giving greater scope for existing fences closer than 3 metres not needing to be moved if they’re already effectively excluding stock
- clarification that the stock exclusion regulations do not apply to any land greater than 10 degrees that is incorrectly captured by the low-slope map.
These changes come into effect on Thursday 5 October 2023.
These are positive changes that will provide relief to some farmers and go some way towards making the stock exclusion regulations fit for purpose.
However the base legislation remains unchanged and the Government has not made any decisions about the three options for low-intensity systems they consulted on. The Government has indicated it is still looking at how more flexibility can be incorporated into the regulations while still achieving positive environmental outcomes.
B+LNZ will continue to push for getting the right changes. The current 1 July 2025 date for when beef cattle on low slope land need to be excluded is still looming and delaying a decision does not help farmers that need time to plan and fund any stock exclusion requirements.