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Stock exclusion rules require anyone owning or controlling livestock to keep them away from rivers, lakes, and wetlands within set timeframes, which vary based on the type of stock, the terrain, and how often they graze. In brief, for waterways like lakes and wide rivers, livestock must stay at least 3 metres away. There are also specific dates by which different livestock types, like dairy cattle or deer, must adhere to these rules. Remember, some Regional Council rules might be stricter.
Any person who owns or controls stock must follow the stock exclusion rules.
Stock must be excluded from rivers, lakes and wetlands within certain timeframes depending on the type of stock, slope, and intensity of grazing. There is not a resource consenting option – the rules simply apply as at the operative dates. These rules are legislated under the Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Regulations 2020.
Note: Regional Council rules may be more stringent.
Waterways (lakes and 'wide' rivers): Stock must be excluded and kept at least 3 meters from the edge of the bed of a lake or a river with a bed greater than 1 m wide at any point on the parcel of land – includes intermittent streams but excludes drains.
NB: Buffer width doesn’t apply to a lake or river with a permanent fence already in place.
Stock (except deer) must use a bridge or culvert if they cross the waterway more than twice a month.
|Dairy cattle||Any NEWLY developed farm||3 Sept 2020|
|Dairy cattle (and pigs)||Any terrain||1 July 2023|
|Dairy support cattle||Any terrain||1 July 2025|
|Beef cattle and deer intensively grazing (break-fed, fed on annual forage crops or irrigated pasture)||Any terrain||1 July 2023|
|Beef cattle and deer||Low slope land (as identified on the MFE website)||1 July 2025|
|Wetlands: All stock must be excluded from natural wetlands.||All cattle, deer and pigs||Any natural wetland on a newly developed farm||3 Sept 2020|
|Any natural wetland identified in the regional or district plan as of 3 September 2020||1 July 2023|
|Any wetland greater than 0.05ha on low slope land or with a population of threatened species||1 July 2025|
Exception: A bridge or culvert is not required if the river has a highly mobile bed, and stock are supervised and actively driven across the river.
For definition: Dairy cattle = cattle farmed for producing milk (including bulls and unweaned calves, but not dairy support cattle). Dairy support cattle = cattle farmed for producing milk, but not being milked (e.g., young stock or dried off), and grazed on land that is not grazed by dairy cattle.