Rules now exist under the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F), the Stock Exclusion Regulations and the Water Metering Regulations. Because they are national rules, they apply across the country. Some of the rules apply already, and others come in at various dates over several years. If your region has more stringent rules, your regional rules will apply.
The wider freshwater package also included substantial change to freshwater policy through the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. Find out more on the Regional policy page.
The main components of the rules as they relate to dairy farming are overviewed here. For full detail of each rule consult the relevant legislative document. There are various people who can help - DairyNZ, dairy companies, regional councils, nutrient advisors, resource/environmental management consultants and other rural professionals.
Permitted activity or resource consent?
Permitted Activity means that providing the set standards are met, you can undertake the activity without requiring resource consent. Where the set standards cannot be met you will require resource consent, or in some cases, will not be able to undertake the activity or may need to do it differently from how you do now. For many activities resource consent may be readily obtainable providing you are managing the activity well and mitigating effects. Other activities have higher tests and obtaining consent will be more difficult. Talk to your regional council about any consents you may require.
Existing use rights
Where an activity now requires resource consent under the NES-F and you are already undertaking that activity, providing it is already legally established (meaning you could undertake it in your region without requiring resource consent) and the activity does not change in nature or scale, you have six months from the date of the new rules taking effect to apply to your regional council for resource consent.
If you already have a resource consent for an activity through your regional council and the NESFW now also applies, you can generally continue using your existing resource consent until it expires. Talk to your regional council about your specific case to ensure you can continue to rely on your current consent.