Where things are at now
In 2016, many farmers participated in submissions for the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan.
Environment Southland has been progressing its work with iwi to develop draft freshwater outcomes. These are a core component guiding a new regional plan.
The next stage
- Draft freshwater objectives will be used to develop limits on Southland’s land and water resource use (such as nutrient loss and water extraction rules).
- Nutrient limits, tools farmers can use to meet limits and timeframes to meet the draft freshwater objectives will be developed through the Regional Forum process.
- The Forum will consult with the community and consider different options to achieve draft freshwater objectives. We don’t yet know the level of changes that will be needed on-farm to achieve to achieve the plan’s objectives.
How we will work for farmers during the Regional Plan development process
- We are supporting farmers to provide feedback on the Regional Plan. We will keep you informed of upcoming consultation opportunities.
- We are working with farmers across Southland to advocate on your behalf during this process, including with the Southland Dairy Leaders Group.
- In the early stages of the process, DairyNZ has undertaken a technical review of the water quality and catchment science Environment Southland has completed. The review has been provided to Environment Southland. We have analysed the robustness, limitations and assumptions underpinning information to ensure decision-makers are fully informed about the uncertainties and limitations. Our DairyNZ Board also met with Environment Southland councillors to discuss the regional planning process, and DairyNZ has met with the Regional Forum. We are making it a priority to represent dairy farmers’ interests.
- We will be undertaking modelling to inform planning and submissions, and show potential economic impacts of proposed changes on farms and communities.
- We are part of the Southland Economic Project – which will be assessing the potential economic impacts of different limit-setting options on farm businesses and the community. Research is also underway at the Southern Dairy Hub to assess standard versus low impact winter crop systems and show the impact changes to farm systems have on profitability and environmental outcomes.