Deemed permitted activity - FAQ
Environment Southland wants to provide regulatory certainty to farmers until the framework for freshwater farm plans is in place. An application for a deemed permitted activity allows farmers who are not able to meet the slope criteria in the National Environment Standards for Freshwater on winter grazing, to avoid going through the consent process and remain compliant next winter.
‘Deemed permitted activity’ is a tool under the Resource Management Act. Deemed permitted activities can only be issued where there is ‘marginal or temporary non-compliance’ of a rule or standard. In this case, the deemed permitted activity applies to winter grazing on sloping land between 10 and 15 degrees.
Eligible farmers would need to demonstrate, by outlining their good management practices, that adverse effects on the environment are no different to the effects of intensive winter grazing conducted on low slope land.
Farmers who cannot meet the slope criteria in the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater. This means only farmers who are planning to graze paddocks with a 10-15 degree slope would be eligible to apply for a deemed permitted activity. All other criteria would need to be met.
This option, for those who are eligible, will provide regulatory certainty for grazing operations while significantly reducing the number of consents required and cost for the Southland rural sector, while continuing to meet our regulatory obligations and achieve good environmental outcomes.
Farmers who cannot meet all the criteria in the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater will need to apply for a consent.
A resource consent is required for all grazing activities that cannot meet the criteria. For advice on this, please get in touch with our consents team on 0800 76 88 45, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are three regulatory pathways for farmers to undertake their intensive winter grazing activities: i) meet all permitted activity criteria; ii) apply for a deemed permitted activity; or iii) apply for a resource consent.
A deemed permitted activity for winter grazing will be issued for up to 24 months. After that time farmers will need to apply for a resource consent or ensure they have a freshwater farm plan in place.
The processing cost for the deemed permitted activity application is $500. An application deposit for a resource consent for winter grazing is $1725.
Go to the Environment Southland website for more information and to apply for a resource consent.
Before starting, we encourage you to get in touch with our consents team.
This approach is available for other regions to also use. We’re unsure at this time if other regional councils will choose to use this approach.
Work is underway nationally to determine the process for developing and accrediting Freshwater Farm Plans. In Southland, there is a pilot underway to provide feedback to the Ministry for the Environment on this process.
Yes. A deemed permitted activity is one of the pathways to demonstrate your compliance with the rules in the NES-F.