Essential Freshwater Package
In August 2020, the Government announced changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM), the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater (NES) and changes to the Resource Management Act.
We are well underway with detailed analysis of these changes. There are a number of areas within the NES that come into force on 3 September 2020. We are prioritising this analysis – which means we’ll be able to provide more comprehensive guidance on the regulations relating to changes to wetlands and rivers, intensive winter grazing, intensification, stockholding areas and stock exclusion in the next few weeks.
We will be coordinating with industry groups, business, consultants and others to discuss the requirements and get their input into solutions that could work for Southland.
We know there’s a lot of confusion and anxiety about these changes and what they mean, so we’re going to share as much information as we can, as often as we can, in clear and meaningful ways.
Some initial advice in intensive winter grazing
If you carried out winter grazing in 2020 and you're not planning on making any changes to the scale, scope or intensity of your wintering, then you may have what's called 'Existing use rights'.
If this applies to your situation, this means that there is a 6-month period from the point when the wintering regulations come into force - 1 May 2021 - to apply for consent. You may be able to carry out your winter grazing next year, but you may need to apply for a consent under the new rules by 31 October 2021.
If you're thinking ahead or you don't have existing use rights - check out the handy Guide to intensive winter grazing without a consent. This outlines all the criteria you need to meet to winter graze without a consent.
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Government policy documents
- National Policy Statement Freshwater Management (NPS-FM)
- National Environmental Standards (NES)
- Stock exclusion regulations
- Farm Plan regulations
- Measurement and reporting of water takes regulation
Other information from the Ministry for the Environment include: