Dairy consent draws ire from Pamu
An Auckland-based corporate farmer has come under fire from state-owned Pamu for lodging a non-notified resource consent to convert 1800 hectares of South Waikato land to dairying.
Wairakei Pastoral applied for the land use change consent on November 22, with the Waikato Regional Council, to convert woody vegetation, non-dairy pasture and arable farmland to dairy farming.
The land to be converted is owned by Wairakei Pastoral and represents 7 per cent of Wairakei Pastoral’s 25,723ha Wairakei Estate north of Taupo. Since 2004, the company has developed 15,734ha (61 per cent) of the land, mostly for dairy farming.
Pamu, which is the brand name for Landcorp, leases the farms from Wairakei Pastoral. It claimed Wairakei Pastoral was responsible for the consent application and Pamu was not formally consulted on it.
‘‘As an impacted party, Pamu believes we should have been notified,’’ a spokesman said in a statement.
‘‘Pamu believes the consent [and any others like it] should be publicly notified to ensure all interested parties have an opportunity to be heard on the implications for the environment of the proposals.’’
Pamu chief executive Steve Carden was unavailable for comment, but a source told Stuff he was angry at being blindsided by the application.
Landcorp runs 18 dairy farms with 20,000 cows on 8390ha of Wairakei Pastoral land and leases a further 12,467ha for mainly dairy support. Once the estate is fully developed, it will have 21 dairy farms.
DairyNZ data shows the average herd size on a Central Plateau 280ha dairy farm is 747 cows.
Wairakei Pastoral said in the consent document that the land use change’s low environmental impact meant there was no need for it to be publicly notified.
The company expected the development would boost regional GDP by $134 million per year, regional employment by 354 full time equivalents, and regional incomes by $2m per year.
The national impact will be GDP of $90m, fulltime employment tor 776 people, and household incomes of $41m.
A council spokeswoman said they were reviewing the application and had requested further information. The council had yet to decide whether the application would be notified.