Expect Increased Rates Costs From New Government Freshwater Laws
The government’s new freshwater laws, signed off this week, have the potential to create significant unnecessary costs for ratepayers, farmers and entire communities, Federated Farmers says.
"We all want good water quality, that’s why farmers and growers have been spending time and money for decades doing all they can on-farm," Feds water spokesperson Chris Allen says.
"Millions of trees, hundreds of miles of fencing, sediment management, nitrogen controls … all these things are improving rural water quality."
While there is still a good deal of detail Federated Farmers is working through to get a better understanding of to communicate to its members, "we do have concerns around the wording of the National Policy Statement.
"There is the distinct possibility of facing costly legal action as councils work out how to implement the regulations without established case law to assist in translating these directions," Chris says.
Federated Farmers members, like most other people in the community, would much prefer to see money invested in environmental projects rather than in lawyers, planners and consultants.
"Given the need for a strong agriculture sector to help in the Covid recovery, we strongly urge the government that if rules and regulations are found to problematic and not aligned with the overall intent, they will make changes as required.
"It was our hope that the government would have continued to build on the good work that farmers are doing, rather than completely resetting the discussion."