River fences mended

South Waikato News - - FARMING -

The Waikato River Au­thor­ity has wel­comed a move by New Zealand’s largest dairy com­pany Fon­terra to in­sist that its farm­ers fence their water­ways as part of the terms and con­di­tions for their milk sup­ply agree­ment.

The au­thor­ity’s cochair­men Tuko­roirangi Mor­gan and John Lux­ton said this lat­est ac­tion by Fon­terra was great news for the health and well­be­ing of the Waikato River.

‘‘We know that there has been con­sid­er­able ef­fort by the dairy in­dus­try in the last few years to en­sure greater pro­tec­tion of water­ways on farms. How­ever this lat­est move goes one step fur­ther in set­ting ex­pec­ta­tions and achiev­ing bet­ter out­comes,’’ said Mr Lux­ton.

Fon­terra said there were many farm­ers who al­ready had stock fenced out of water­ways and were fully com­pli­ant with this new stan­dard but there were oth­ers who would need to do some work to meet the re­quire­ment. Fon­terra will be giv­ing its farm­ers 18 months to come up to the new stan­dard.

The river au­thor­ity has iden­ti­fied the pro­tec­tion of water qual­ity in the lakes and streams that feed into the Waikato River as a key as­pect of im­prov­ing the Waikato River it­self.

Mr Mor­gan said the au­thor­ity con­grat­u­lated Fon­terra on the move. ‘‘This is an­other step to­wards restor­ing the Waikato River. We’ve al­ways said that it will take a com­bined and col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort from ev­ery­one who lives and works in the river catch­ment to make a dif­fer­ence. This is great progress.’’

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