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Feds Welcome Waikato Calf Rearers Court Victory

Feds Welcome Court Victory for Waikato Calf Rearers

10 December 2001


PR184/01

FFNZ: Welcomes Environment Court Victory for Waikato Calf Rearers

Waikato Federated Farmers' President John Vincent has hailed an Environment Court decision that calf rearing is contained within the definition of ‘farming’ and therefore a permitted activity under the Waikato District Plan as a victory for common sense.

"Earlier this year the Waikato District Council refused an application for a retrospective resource consent to a Waikato farming family for the purpose of housing calves and the operation of a nursery on the basis that calf rearing in the Waikato District Plan is classified as 'factory farming', said Mr Vincent.

With assistance from Federated Farmers and the Farmers Fighting Fund; Trevor and Gaye Wilson lodged an appeal with the Environment Court seeking rulings on whether calf rearing should classified as ‘farming’ or ‘factory farming’ and whether a consent for their buildings should be granted.

"The Court found that calf rearing is consistent with the definition of ‘farming’ and is not ‘factory farming’ as Council alleged. The consent for the buildings was also granted with no conditions attached," said Mr Vincent. "Any sensible interpretation of the District Plan would have concluded this.

“FFNZ find it extraordinary that Council declined the consent in the first place when the Court found that the effects of the activity were in all cases no more than minor.

"From the outset Federated Farmers have contended that calf rearing is totally consistent with farming activities and is not ‘factory farming’. The Court's decision calls into question the ability of Councils to make pragmatic decisions based on interpretation of the Resource Management Act.

"The decision sets a huge precedent in a region that is highly dependent on dairy and beef farming.

"If you can’t rear calves in the rural zone in the Waikato District, at the heart of dairy industry where can you raise them,” Mr Vincent concluded.

ENDS

For more information: John Vincent, Ph 07 883 4762 or 025 277 8464 Sally Millar, PH 07 838 2589 or 025 296 3810


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