One Plan gathering momentum

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 06/01/2014

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Horizons Regional Council has promised to be "practical and pragmatic" as implementation of the council's One Plan picks up speed in 2014.

Legal challenges against the plan, a blueprint for the use of natural resources in the Horizons region, were wrapped up last year and most of the document is now legally in effect.

Horizons group manager of strategy and regulation Dr Nic Peet said much of the One Plan was business as usual and people would not see much change as a result.

"There is a general focus on working alongside people to help them understand where there are new rules and an educational approach where people are unsure of what they need to do to comply."

One of the most contentious areas of the plan during its development was nutrient loss limits. Nutrient runoff from farms into waterways can encourage the growth of algae and plant pests.

Dr Peet said nutrient management rules would come into effect gradually over the next three years in different catchments.

"Horizons is working with DairyNZ and Horticulture New Zealand to help farmers in priority catchments understand what they will need to do."

DairyNZ has already promised to spend $350,000 in the next year advising its farmers on how to meet the requirements of the One Plan.

Dr Peet said Horizons was planning to revamp the One Plan section of its website over the coming months to make it more user friendly and to accommodate new information.

"This is not just for farmers, but covers a whole series of information around the One Plan for a range of parties including industry and territorial authorities. It's about providing better access to good advice on what the One Plan means.

"Where things have changed, we're looking to work with people and help them understand what the new rules mean for them. We are there to help people be successful under the new plan and initial implementation will be focused around education rather than enforcement."

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- Manawatu Standard

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