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Environment Southland listening to farmers

Environment Southland listening to farmers

Federated Farmers commends Environment Southland for listening to the concerns of Hill and High Country farmers, and delaying notification of the proposed Hill and High Country Development Plan Change today.

“The council’s decision, having engaged and taken on board farmers concerns, will result in better outcomes for farmers and the environment,” says Allan Baird Federated Farmers Southland acting provincial president.

“Taking time to fully consider the issues, potential impacts, inclusive of the whole community and their values, is a fundamental part of the National Policy Statement for Fresh Water Management, and needs to be central in all decision making.

“Whilst guidelines are still under review to inform Good Management Practices on Hill and High Country farms, there needs to be patience and consideration to all affected by any implementation of new rules. Farmers need to be informed and they need time to adjust, particularly given these rules would impose real costs on farmers.

“Considering the quality of water in the upper catchments is generally good, Federated Farmers believes the best way forward is to abandon the rule of making Hill High Country farm development a regulated process.

“The hundreds of Hill and High Country farmers affected want to get it right. Therefore it would be more appropriate for the council and the Federation to educate the minority of farmers that aren’t, rather than introduce a blanket rule for all.

“Environmental results come from collaboration, not regulating in panic to solve a problem. We are thrilled the council are taking a more balanced approach, and sincerely hope it continues” concluded Mr Baird.

ends

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