From Your Mayor

Bush Telegraph - - NEWS -

Tena Koutou Ka­toa

On a wet, stormy night last week, about 70 farm­ers filled the Rua Roa Hall to hear Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil ex­plain their plan change pro­posal to the One Plan.

The pro­posed change af­fects the ni­tro­gen leach­ing table found in the Dis­charge to Land and Wa­ter chap­ter and has a ma­jor im­pact on whether farm­ers can gain a re­source con­sent.

The path to a ''con­sent to farm'' regime was started in 2007 and the table was em­bed­ded in reg­u­la­tion based on land use ca­pa­bil­ity (LUC) class and the max­i­mum amount of nu­tri­ent leach­ing al­lowed as to not im­pact on wa­ter qual­ity.

These num­bers were cal­cu­lated through soft­ware mod­el­ling tool OVERSEER.

Dairy farm­ers have had to deal with ever chang­ing goal posts caused by OVERSEER up­dates, stan­dard con­sent­ing path­ways re­jected by the En­vi­ron­ment Court, and in­creased un­cer­tainty as both is­sues stymie real en­vi­ron­men­tal progress.

Farm­ers have a greater un­der­stand­ing of their role in achiev­ing pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes than per­haps they did in 2007.

With im­proved science and good com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the re­gional coun­cil and farm­ers, this has con­trib­uted to that knowl­edge and also helped build bet­ter re­la­tion­ships.

OVERSEER has been up­dated eight times since the table was pro­duced but the table it­self was never up­dated.

The pro­posed re­cal­cu­la­tion is ex­pected to ad­dress the is­sues this has caused.

It is an on­go­ing chal­lenge to stick to­gether as an in­dus­try and, as more farm­ers are able to get con­sented, my wish is for each to con­tinue to sup­port those strug­gling through the process. Noho ora mai s all the best,

Tracey Col­lis

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.