Intensive Winter Grazing rules cover
- Farm area used for IWG
- Distance from water bodies
- New IWG activity
The government is currently consulting on changes to the IWG rules. For more information see Environment at a glance.
Timeframes – when do these rules apply?
01 May 2021 – resource consent applications required for new IWG activity. Consents can only be granted for a term that ends before 01 January 2031.
If you think you need a resource consent for new IWG activity and have not already applied, contact your regional council to discuss applying for a retrospective resource consent.
Note the rules for new IWG activities are temporary and will be revoked on 01 January 2031.
01 May 2022 – Deferred date for any existing IWG activity. At this stage it is anticipated that further guidance to the regulations and IWG freshwater farm plan modules will be provided by the Government in early 2022.
The regulations introduce a reference period which is the period which started 01 July 2014 and ended 30 June 2019. The reference period is relevant to some IWG activities.
Deferred IWG rules (Existing IWG activity)
Note: The following part of the regulations has been deferred until May 2022.
However, farmers should still become familiar with the requirements and be taking action to ensure IWG activity is managed under good management practices. See Wintering.
This part of the regulations only applies to existing IWG use where land on the farm has been used for IWG during the reference period, and the amount of land used on the farm for IWG does not exceed the maximum area used during the reference period.
Regulations relating to existing IWG use provide for IWG as a permitted activity where standards are met.
- The area of the farm used for IWG must be no greater than 50ha or 10% of the area of the farm, whichever is greater; and
- The mean slope of the paddock used for IWG must be 10o or less; and
- Pugging must not be deeper than 20cm at any one point (except within 10m of an entrance gate or fixed water trough) and pugging of any depth must not cover more than 50% of the paddock; and
- Livestock must be kept at least 5 m away from the bed of any river, lake, wetland or drain (regardless of whether there is any water in it at the time); and
- Land must be replanted as soon as practicable after grazing but no later than 01 October of the same year (other than in Otago and Southland where the date is 01 November).
If any of the above standards cannot be met a certified freshwater farm plan or resource consent is required.
At this stage the Government has not determined the requirements around certified freshwater farm plans and until this is determined the freshwater farm plan pathway is not available.
Following advocacy from DairyNZ and other groups about the practicality of the IWG standards, in March 2021 the Government announced the deferment of implementation of the above regulations as they relate to existing IWG use. The implementation of this part of the regulations is currently deferred until May 2022.
Non-deferred IWG rules (new IWG activity)
The IWG rules in relation to new IWG activities (where land on the farm has not been used for IWG during the reference period, or where the amount of IWG exceeds the maximum amount undertaken during the reference period) have not been deferred and still apply.
New IWG activities require resource consent and resource consent can only be granted where the granting of consent will not result in any increase in the contaminant loads in the catchment, or concentrations of contaminants in freshwater or other receiving environments, compared to those that existed at 02 September 2020.