The Government has refused to put a hold on winter grazing rules despite failing to implement crucial elements which will likely lead many farmers down an expensive consent process.
The current rules require farmers who graze livestock on an annual forage crop over winter, and do not meet a range of permitted activity criteria, to either gain a certified Freshwater Farm Plan, or to apply for a resource consent from 1 November 2022.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), DairyNZ and Federated Farmers wrote to Minister David Parker in August calling for winter grazing rules to be deferred until November 2023, after receiving no response, a second letter was sent on 22 September, which was also copied to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Last Thursday (6 October), the partner organisations received a response from Minister Parker, which said the winter grazing regulations would not be deferred or amended.
“It is highly disappointing that Minister Parker has not listened to the sector and is pushing on with these unworkable regulations, despite freshwater farm plans not being available,” says B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor.
“We are currently working through the content of the letter with our partner organisations before determining any further action.”