Taranaki – Freshwater targets and options


2 min read

What is DairyNZ doing for you? Key concerns with the proposal How can you get involved? Next steps Key DairyNZ contacts Additional resources

Taranaki Regional Council is consulting with the community on proposed changes to the land and freshwater plan. This is an opportunity for you to influence council decision-making prior to a draft plan being released in early 2025. Councils’ consultation focuses on the targets set for nutrients, e-coli and water allocation but also poses questions on ways in which they can manage activities to improve water quality. The topics they are engaging on are management of nutrients, sediment, e coli and water quantity. The council is also consulting on options to address effluent, earthworks, land disturbance and other farm practices.

What is DairyNZ doing for you?

DairyNZ has participated in consultation with Taranaki Regional Council throughout this process alongside other primary sector groups. We have also been in discussion with Taranaki Regional Council about our concerns on the timing of this new plan.

DairyNZ’s preference is for Taranaki Regional Council to wait for clarity on the national direction on freshwater management to ensure that the plan is consistent with these requirements. Releasing a plan before changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management risks misalignment and the possibility of further changes, imposing unnecessary costs on ratepayers.

Key concerns with the proposal

Timing: The timing of the Plan Change risks misalignment with national direction (changes to the RMA and NPS-FM). This could result in further changes to the plan and related costs.

Model outputs: The use of model outputs to estimate the reductions required is potentially not representative of measured data.

Achievability: There are potential implications for farmers with some of the options to achieve improvements in water quality. Some examples taken from the consultation documents illustrate these:

  • Fish Passage – part of the council’s consultation looks at improving fish passage in the region. They are asking how long farmers would need to replace culverts and in-stream structures.
  • Managing intensification – the council are considering using stocking rate as a trigger for a consent requirement.
  • Freshwater Farm Plans – the council is considering using Farm Environment Plans to implement freshwater improvements.

How can you get involved?

There are several ways to get involved, including attending a drop-in session in your local community. You can also read the consultation documents and provide feedback via the council's website (Survey or submitting written feedback).

You have until the 2nd August to have your say. 

What are the next steps?

Central Government announced in December 2023 an intention to replace the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM 2020) over the next 18-24 months. Due to this, the date that councils are required to notify a freshwater plan change has been extended by three years, to 31 December 2027, leaving more time for regional councils and communities for this work.

Find out more about the changes to freshwater regulations proposed by Central Government.

Questions on this topic?

DNZ contact person:

Anna Sing
Senior Regional Policy Advisor

Shaun Hazelton
Senior Regional Policy Advisor

Last updated: Jul 2024
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