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

 

Waikato dairy sector improves compliance figures

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)

MEDIA RELEASE

15 March 2011

Waikato dairy sector improves compliance figures

Helicopter monitoring has shown dairy farm compliance with regional effluent management rules is improving significantly so far this season, new figures from Environment Waikato show.

Effluent management practices that contravene the rules can lead to excessive levels of nutrients and bacteria getting into waterways, posing a threat to human and animal health, as well as the general health of waterways.

Last season 25 per cent of farms monitored under permitted activity rules – whether from the air or by ground-based inspections – were significantly non-compliant. Overall, 27 per cent of farms monitored under either permitted activity rules or EW’s consented sites regime were significantly non-compliant, as previously reported to the council’s regulatory committee.

However, 2010-11 season-to-date figures for aerial monitoring results (as at early March) show significant non-compliance with permitted activity rules was at 11 per cent compared to the 25 per cent figure from air and ground inspections for last season’s full year score. The data is from four of five flights carried out so far this season (data from the fifth flight over the Matamata area last week is still being analysed).

Significant non-compliance is generally described as a discharge of effluent that has either entered water, or is at high risk of entering water, such as unauthorised direct discharges of effluent to drains and streams, and excessive application of effluent on to pasture near waterways, or leading to groundwater pollution.

The season-to-date statistics include the results of monitoring that occurred during the early season’s wet spell in the region, which generated conditions that can make it harder to comply. (EW later suspended monitoring as the wet weather progressed, in recognition of the more difficult compliance conditions, and then resumed flights when conditions improved. It is likely that significant non-compliance would have been even lower if conditions in the early part of the season had not been so wet.)

“This data indicates a range of initiatives taken by EW and the dairy sector are beginning to have a positive impact on reducing significant non-compliance in our region,” said resource use group manager Chris McLay.

“The challenge now is to build on this progress and lift compliance levels even further. EW staff are working closely with DairyNZ and Fonterra to this end.”

The measures introduced since the 2009-10 figures were released include:

· EW increasing the level of aerial monitoring.

· Fonterra’s ‘every farm-every year’ inspection of effluent management systems by the company.

· The effluent compliance checklist and rules summary distributed by DairyNZ.

· Joint effluent management field days with farmers.

· Developing the accredited effluent supplier code of practice.

· The development of a Waikato effluent storage calculator for helping decide on the current effluent pond capacity for each property.

· Considerable media publicity and industry education on having effective effluent systems and complying with rules.

This season, EW increased its helicopter monitoring programme from about 600 to 1000 farms or 25 per cent of dairy farms in the region.

So far five flights checking about 135 farms each have been carried out around Hamilton, Matamata, Morrinsville, Otorohanga and Pokeno. As mentioned earlier, flights were suspended during the extremely wet weather experienced last spring as EW recognised the weather had overwhelmed even the most well designed and managed systems. However, they resumed when the weather had settled with flights over Otorohanga in November, Morrinsville in January and Matamata last week.

“We will be closely analysing the data from the Matamata flight and the remaining flight we plan this season to see what impact this has on the overall trends we’re seeing,” said Mr McLay.

“We take our responsibilities under the Clean Streams Accord very seriously and we will continue to work closely with Fonterra and DairyNZ to make improvements in the Waikato’s performance.

“We hope the improved figures so far this season are a sign that we have turned a corner. We congratulate farmers who have lifted their game to meet their environmental responsibilities.

“But EW will also continue to focus attention on farmers putting the environment at risk by flouting the rules.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels