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Horizons chairman committed to supporting farmers

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Horizons chairman committed to supporting farmers

Horizons Regional Council Chairman Bruce Gordon says he is committed to supporting farmers make any necessary changes as a result of the Environment Court’s decision on the council’s One Plan last week.

The decisions mean that existing intensive land use in some parts of the region and conversions to intensive land use across the region will become controlled activities. While a consent will be necessary it must be granted if conditions are met.

Based on Horizons’ consents for irrigation, about 440 of the 900 dairy farmers in the region will be affected by the nutrient management aspect of the plan as well as four irrigated sheep and beef, 36 horticulture and 18 existing cropping properties.

Mr Gordon has written to all dairy consent holders in the Region notifying them that an interim decision has been handed down from the court and reiterating his commitment to working together. The Council has also established a new toll free number for landowners seeking more information on the impact of the court’s decision on Horizons Regional Council’s One Plan.

The number 0508 4 1 PLAN (7526) will be staffed between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday, providing information around what the Plan could mean for landowners when decisions are finalised by the court later this year.

Mr Gordon said that landowners would be notified before any changes were necessary and would be given time to make these.

“No one needs to make any immediate changes. There is still some work to be done in establishing the process by which we will roll out the Plan and the timeframes within which the changes are achievable.”

Mr Gordon said that once the Plan was finalised the council would be looking at implementing this in a way and timeframe workable for farmers.

ENDS

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