Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Intensive farming decision results in One Plan change

Wednesday 9 August 2017


Intensive farming decision results in One Plan change proposal


At their Strategy and Policy committee meeting today, Horizons Regional Councillors moved a recommendation for Council to investigate partial One Plan change options.

Horizons chair Bruce Gordon says the decision was made today because the committee was clearly informed that, following an Environment Court’s ruling, if farmers had to meet the current nitrogen leaching numbers in the One Plan a significant number of businesses would no longer be viable.

“Council is responsible to its community and I want to reassure farmers that while our intention is to improve water quality, we are unified in not wanting to bankrupt multiple businesses. As a result, the Strategy and Policy committee have recommended Council instructs officers to prepare options for a change to the One Plan’s policies and rules around intensive agriculture,” says Mr Gordon.

“In the meantime, new application forms and guidance material for applicants seeking intensive land use consents under the One Plan have been produced as required by the Court’s decision.”

The Environment Court’s decision followed declaratory proceedings by Environmental Defence Society (EDS) and Wellington Fish and Game. Council officers will be meeting with EDS and Fish and Game representatives later this month to clarify their expectations.

“While the new application forms have been reviewed externally and will be available by the end of August, the legal pathway for applicants to get consent is hugely complex and likely unachievable for many farmers. There is no certainty that in many situations restricted discretionary consents could be issued,” says Mr Gordon.

“That being said, the best place for applicants to be is engaged with Council, as some farmers will be able to apply for consent and others will continue to make environmental improvement. Our staff will be available to work with the affected applicants. This includes direct communication and community meetings.

“It is important to note that good progress has been made around the Region in improving water quality, and Council is committed to continuing to build on these successes.

“While 95 per cent of the One Plan has been successfully implemented, rules and policies for intensive agriculture have been particularly challenging,” says Mr Gordon.

“In 2005 we were an early adopter of an approach to managing leaching. Science, knowledge and regulation methods continue to change and unsurprisingly we are learning what works and what doesn’t.

“A partial plan change won’t take another decade, however our main concern is getting the pace of change right. Plan changes are a public process and will also need to identify the impact on individual landowners and the community as we all work to improve our rivers.

“Trends for the past decade show that both regulatory and non regulatory efforts across all catchments have contributed to our Region’s water quality trends improving. This includes 58 per cent of the 36 monitored sites improved for total oxidised nitrogen (TON) and none in decline.

“We have recently increased these monitored sites to over 70, which will allow for even more in-depth data to help inform future decision making and where best to target our collective efforts.

“Ultimately, our commitment is to the environmental, economic, and social wellbeing of the Region as we move forward.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election