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Planning Is Paramount With New Intensive Winter Grazing Rules

An intensive winter grazing management plan is the key for farmers to make sure they are getting the best environmental outcome with a high-risk activity.

On 1 November, new intensive winter grazing rules came into force as part of the Government’s Essential Freshwater package.

Under these rules, intensive winter grazing (IWG) can be practised as a permitted activity only if certain criteria around land area, slope, distance from waterways and critical source areas are met.

Farmers who are unable to meet these criteria will need to apply for resource consent.

Resource consent for intensive winter grazing

Farmers will have until 1 May 2023 to lodge an intensive winter grazing resource consent application. However, consent does not have to be granted by this date.

If an application is submitted by May, the IWG activity will be considered compliant in 2023 if the applicant follows what was proposed in the application and ensures that environmental risks are appropriately managed according to their IWG management plan.

Environment Canterbury General Manager – Regulatory Services Judith Earl-Goulet said that Canterbury farmers are working hard to reduce their impact on waterways.

“We’re really happy to see that farmers have made huge strides in improving winter grazing practices over the past 10 years,” Earl-Goulet said.

“We acknowledge that getting the paperwork right can add to the stress of running a farming business and we want to try to make this process as straightforward as possible, so farmers can spend their time on-farm working to make improvements.”

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We understand that getting resource consent can be a long process. To make it as easy and efficient as possible, we’ve created an IWG resource consent application form explains all the information needed to complete an application. This form can be completed by farmers themselves.

More information on the permitted activity criteria, resource consents and intensive winter grazing in general are on our IWG webpage.

We know it’s a busy time for farmers, both on the farm and in the office, and we want to help. Your first port of call for any information is our Farmers’ Hub. For specific questions on IWG you can email us. For general enquiries, talk to your industry partner or your local land management advisor.

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