Pylon buffer zone raises concerns
The business of primary production livestock farming in our region will have its challenges in the next 24 months.
The obvious downward trend for farm gate returns of raw product for processing this season should not be ignored, no matter whether you are associated with dairy or dry stock.
Qualified commentary on the financial domino effect on farm gate returns, in my opinion, have been well flagged for appropriate diligence to your farming financial management.
Well-established farmers have even made comments that two-year cash flow budgets should be in place now and plan a farm management strategy to that, as the consistent theme of extremely tight cash flows being indicated .
It is not doom or gloom if you plan accordingly and keep your rural bank in the loop as the season progresses. Banks, I believe, carefully approve overdraft facility for farm inputs that will make a cash return to the business.
I am aware there will be some legitimate late filing of tax returns which means provisional and terminal payment for May 31 balance dates will be due over a short period when heading into mid-2013. Banks may cough or smile to cover a significant spike in cashflow debt at the tail end of the dairy farming season, when posted advance payments out to February, paid March for many dairy farmers raw milk is $3.85ckg/ms.
So I will assume many pencils have been sharpened as to maize silage, grazing and other farm input cost negotiations.
Te Aroha District Federated Farmers’ chairman Andrew McGiven has been busy on our behalf having engaged in the public consultation paper for the District Plan Review reference transport and utilities that is now due, and for those of you who may be unaware this is the forum by which Transpower will be trying to get their much maligned 64m pylon buffer zone into the district plan.
Why is Transpower dictating to landowners unfortunate enough to have pylons on their property – now insisting that resource consent is required for nearly any activity within 32m of a pylon?
The simple answer would be money, because unlike the new transmission lines between Taupo and Auckland, Transpower does not want to consult and negotiate easements and compensation with every landowner.
Yet I would contend that if Transpower did communicate and consult with the affected landowners, instead of legislate and regulate, the process would be easier and cheaper for them long term.
I am also opposed to the way Transpower is trying to pass the enforcement and prosecution portions on to the council by getting the buffer zone included in the district plan.
District councils do have a responsibility to protect significant natural features under the Resource Management Act but surely this does not extend to commercial assets of a state-owned enterprise.
I do not pay rates for council officers to check that landowners are maintaining an ‘‘acceptable’’ buffer for Transpower’s pylons; this is a commercial activity and is Transpower’s responsibility.
The consultation paper for this review closed on September 14 but keep your eyes open for the call for submissions as this is when the arguments and debates will decide what Transpower and/or any other state-owned enterprise may attempt to hijack our district plan for their own commercial purposes.