Dairy farm approved alongside fragile wetland

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 05:00 10/04/2014

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A new dairy conversion next to an internationally recognised wetland has been given the go ahead by Environment Southland.

Forward Holdings Limited, on Omaui Road, Omaui, applied for resource consent for a category three new dairy conversion which was heard before the Environment Southland consents committee yesterday.

Under Environment Southland's plan change 13, all new dairy conversions require resource consent before becoming operational.

The new conversion, which was previously used as a beef farm, is next to New River Estuary. This is part of the Awarua Wetlands which are classified as a Ramsar wetland - meaning it is internationally recognised as a place of ecological importance. Councillors approved the conversion as the applicant had shown they had taken the adequate steps to ensure any effects would be less than minor.

The applicant proposed measures such as winter grazing off site, riparian fencing and planting and grass buffer strips for grazing to mitigate any adverse effects on water quality.

The resource consent application, compiled by an Environment Southland consents officer, highlighted concerns about the effects an additional 450 cows would have on the sensitive receiving environment.

 

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