Legal challenges ''inevitable'' if proposed Water and Land Plan goes ahead

Sheep and dairy farmer Doug Fraser, a life member of Federated Farmers Southland, argues his case at the Southland Water ...
Robyn Edie

Sheep and dairy farmer Doug Fraser, a life member of Federated Farmers Southland, argues his case at the Southland Water and Land Plan hearing on Tuesday.

Legal challenges are inevitable if the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan goes ahead, hearing commissioners have been told.

Sheep and dairy farmer Doug Fraser, a Federated Farmers Southland life member, issued the warning on Tuesday during the last week of the months-long hearing.

A proposal in the plan to limit the intensification of farming practices in some areas of Southland was based on "grossly inaccurate"  physiographic zoning and  would have enormous financial effects on farmers, Fraser said.

Federated Farmers representatives speak to their submission on the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan at Environment ...
ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

Federated Farmers representatives speak to their submission on the Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan at Environment Southland on Tuesday. From left are Allan Baird, Southland Federated Farmers president; Darryl Sycamore, senior regional policy advisor and Tom Heller, expert witness.

The rules would result in decreased property values in the affected areas and he believed legal challenges would result.

"This plan will put many families in a position where the only way they can maintain the bankability of their farming operation is to legally challenge the plan." 

He strongly opposed the plan and said it failed to identify the need for such prescriptive and punitive measures.

The plan focused only on the farming sector and it would divide the community, he said.

The proposed plan, put together by Environment Southland, seeks to maintain water quality in Southland.

It proposes to manage farming activities that contribute to disproportionate amounts of contaminants such as nitrogen, phosphorous and sediments from entering waterways.

Federated Farmers, represented by leaders including president Allan Baird at the hearing on Tuesday, say parts of the proposed plan are inappropriate, impractical, unworkable and not economically feasible for some farmers.

Ad Feedback

The Feds' submission was put together after consultation with its nearly 1400 farmer members.

The concerns of the members included the compliance costs associated with the plan, the restrictions on intensive winter grazing, the potential devaluation of people's properties and interference of people's property rights, and the fact Environment Southland was proposing to base rules on new science [physiographic zones] that had not been ground-truthed on the farms. 

The Feds also say the proposed plan targets rural land use rather than looking at both rural and urban contaminant losses.

Restrictions placed on intensive winter grazing do not recognise the practical fact that stock need to be fed all year round - and stock exclusion requirements in the plan are unworkable and not practically or economically feasible for extensive farming operations, the Feds say.

The group argues non-complying statuses for new or extended dairy farming and tighter restrictions for intensive winter grazing in the Old Mataura and Peat Wetlands physiographic zones are inappropriate because not enough is known about nutrient loading.

The Feds support Environment Southland's aim to "hold the line" on water quality until catchment limit setting is introduced.

Catchment limit setting includes restricting the amount of contaminants that can be discharged into waterways and how much water can be extracted. 

"We agree that in order to maintain water quality some actions need to be taken now," the Feds say.

However, the lobby group cautions against imposing significant constraints on farming systems before nutrient allocation levels are known and the Southland Economics Project is completed.

Implementing good management practices across Southland will maintain water quality until limit setting is introduced, the Feds believe.

"Our main concern with the proposed plan is that it precedes the formal catchment limit setting process, yet embeds regulatory framework that will carry through to the catchment-based processes."

The lobby group support the concept of farm management plans because good management practices improve water quality.

As such, it is "very disappointed" the proposed plan requires farmers to gain resource consent to undertake normal farming practices.

Federated Farmers expert witness Tom Heller, an environmental consultant, said data showed on-farm nitrate leaching in Southland water bodies was holding the line.

Data clearly showed the  greatest risk to water quality was from phosphorous and off-farm riparian sources of contamination, he said. 

"The plan appears to prioritise nitrate when it should be off-farm contaminants." 

The Mid Aparima Catchment Group has called for a full economic impact report to adequately model the likely economic impacts of the proposed plan. 

The hearing is due to continue on Wednesday and conclude on Thursday, with the four hearing commissioners to then consider their decision.

 

 - The Southland Times

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Start not confirmed

Murray Baker is adamant there is nothing wrong with Bonneval ahead of Saturday's Caulfield Cup.

Leading Kiwi chance in Caulfield Cup faces big test before she even gets to the barriers.

Smoking ban 'unfair targeting'

Places with outdoor footpath dining such as Ponsonby's SPQR restaurant would have to make sure their outdoor dining area ...

Around 800 Auckland restaurants with public al fresco areas expect to see a drop in business.

Power pole crash closes street

Beaconsfield St is closed after a truck collided with a power pole.

A power pole is in danger of coming down after a truck crash in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.

Five hurt in house blaze

At least two fire crew remain at the Maurice St home, bystanders said.

One person is seriously injured after a bedroom fire in south Auckland.

Wellington

Welcome to Dannevirke ... or is it?

What's that bit: Random slices of your region

(Weekend) Today's piece of the photo puzzle is of artistic and archaic ...

Featherston isn't the only town without an official name. Turns out most of NZ is incognito.

Uni hall a 'feral zoo'

Images of alleged drunken destruction at the Victoria University Te Puni Village over the weekend have emerged.

Alleged drinking binge sees vomit and rubbish strewn across Wellington student hall.

Alcohol 'safe zone' in party central

The alcohol "safe zone" would have water, charging stations, bean bags and friendly assistance for Wellington party-goers.

Wellington party-goers who've had too much to drink will soon have a new refuge.

Snapped: 103kmh in a 50kmh zone

Porirua's busiest speed camera, on Whitford Brown Ave, caught a vehicle travelling at more than twice the posted speed limit.

Porirua's busiest speed camera catches one driver with a particularity heavy foot.

Canterbury

Flames engulf West Coast house

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

A fire has destroyed an elderly man's home on the West Coast.

'Auntie Dai' paid out

Dai Bing was working as the manager of the Auntie Dai's Dumplings restaurant in the Christchurch Bus Interchange ...

Company ordered to repay woman whose name adorns a dumpling restaurant chain.

Hijacker could get $25,000

Abdille said a government rule change stopped her reuniting her family in 2004.

Asha Abdille injured two pilots in 2008. Now, she's out of jail and could be in the money.

Stuck in rebuild limbo

Michelle and David McLean's home rebuild was demolished before it could be completed.

Michelle McLean wants to warn people about cross leases after her property got stuck in a rebuild deadlock.

Waikato

Virtual cave tour

Ruakuri Cave will be the first cave system in New Zealand to be brought onto Google Maps.

Google goes underground, allowing you to explore one of NZs hidden gems from home.

CBD is hot property

Hamilton CBD, seen from teh east side of the Waikato River, is experiencing increased occupancy amid a stroing of new ...

Waiting for a tenant doesn't work any more, Hamilton commercial real estate leader says.

Toilet training in paradise

Raglan hopes to stop any unnecessary wastewater overflows by reminding people of what should and shouldn't go into the ...

Holiday destination plagued by sewage spills takes toilet etiquette to the street.

Casino robbery lead

Police want to speak to this man in relation to the robbery of a man from the Hamilton's SkyCity Casino.

Police want to speak to this man after a winner was followed and robbed at knifepoint.

Taranaki

Ute dragged out of sea video

Dave Chadfield, of Chaddy's Charters, points to where a ute is submerged in the marina at Port Taranaki after two men ...

"I heard screaming, yelling and swearing and saw two guys walk ashore."

Womad NZ line-up unveiled

Tinariwen Elwan will play Womad NZ 2018

Almost 30 acts from across the globe have been revealed for next year's three-day music festival.

'The colony's dullest hole'

Len Lye Centre facade and White Hart hotel

Slagging off provincial small town New Zealand is fraught with danger.

Jury out in sex case

A jury of eight men and four women have begun deliberations at a sex trial in  the New Plymouth District Court. (File Photo)

A jury is considering verdicts in a case involving sex allegations which date back 10 years.

Manawatu

Full firefighting kit for 170km

Palmerston North firefighters are walking to Wellington in full kit to support efforts to tackle motor neuron disease.  ...

Palmerston North firefighters will walk to Wellington to raise money to combat motor neuron disease.

Late nights threatened

The Awapuni Function Centre is one of several licensed premises wanting changes to Palmerston North's draft local ...

City council's alcohol policy could force function centre to close early and put some bookings at risk.

A rural shemozzle

Libby Masefield having fun with bulls' balls in her mouth.

What started as a yarn at the pub has become a rural event attracting 5000 visitors a year. 

Appeal continues video

Mark Lundy, pictured at his 2015 retrial, is appealing his convictions for murdering his wife and daughter.

Lundy's appeal expected to cover petrol and public perception.

Nelson

Milk dance creative, entertaining

The Creamery was part of the Nelson Art's Festival.

The Nelson Musical Theatre was transformed into a cheese factory for The Creamery - an interpretive show about the world of cheese.

Final drop begins

A small number of protesters show their disdain for the third poison drop at the Brook Sanctuary.

Final poison drop starts as part of the Brook Sanctuary operation.

Man critical after Suter Gallery fall

The Suter Art Gallery in Nelson, where an independent contractor fell on Tuesday, sustaining critical injuries.

A man is fighting for his life after falling while carrying out work at the Suter Art Gallery.

GP practice accredited

Collingwood Health is now Foundation Standard certified.

After failing to meet accreditation standards in the given timeframe, Collingwood Health has now achieved them

Marlborough

A rose for Red Cross

There are 2500 roses ready to sell at the fundraiser on Thursday.

Preparations are underway for Red Rose Day tomorrow.

Bridging the gap

Sounds Air chief executive Andrew Crawford says if the research stacks up 19-seater Beechcrafts could be flying between ...

Sounds Air could be flying 19-seaters between Christchurch and Blenheim by early next year.

Corporate rowing crews battle it out

30082017 News Photo: TOM LEE/STUFF - Sport - Rowing NZ team media day at Lake Karapiro. Mens eight

Corporate 8 crews optimistic at Wairau Rowing Club's annual challenge.

'Skylarking' caused fatal crash

Lara Glover, 16, died and four others were injured in the car crash on February 19.

Teen driver caused fatal crash by swerving his parents' SUV from side to side while doing close to 100kmh.

South Canterbury

Jet boat marathon hits Waitaki video

18102017 News JOHN BISSET/STUFF.  World jet boat marathon on Waitaki River contact Paul Mullan 027284 9194. Pictured are ...

The sound of jet boat engines echoed along the  'difficult' Waitaki River yesterday.

No word on SH1 call

Mid-South Canterbury area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin

Pareora residents renew calls for lower speed limit after three-car crash in September.

Teacher censured over kayak trip

Physical education teacher Stuart Albrey has taught at Waimate High School since 1986.

A Waimate High School teacher has been censured for serious misconduct

Call to check wells

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey told RNZ Tuesday there had been anecdotal accounts from ...

Households urged to monitor their private water supplies regularly - particularly those with pregnant mothers, or young babies.

Otago

A man without Viices

McComb said he would love to perform at Homegrown or the Reading Festival in the UK at some point.

Viices, aka Jake McComb, "only really made enough to pay for parking" the first time he busked.

Qtown businesses losses continue

Businesses are making insurance claims for interruptions caused by a burst water main.

Businesses are making insurance claims for ongoing interruptions caused by a burst water main in central Queenstown.

Ministry backs down on buses

A Queenstown school bus.

Students living in Sunshine Bay, Frankton, Jack's Point and Kelvin Heights will have to find their own way to school.

Cromwell basin business booms

At least 35 businesses supported the 11ha extension of Akarua's Pisa Development Vineyard near Cromwell.

Akarua Vineyard organises impromptu fair to celebrate viticulture investment.

Southland

The Lim hymn: Let's Eat

Celebrity chef Nadia Lim shares her latest book, Let's Eat, with Julie Allan, Sarah Johnson and Gabrielle Berger Sidwell ...

Despite releasing seven cookbooks in seven years, inspiration is never far away for celebrity chef Nadia Lim.

Bravery awards given

Nightcaps men Conrad Waihape, left, and Phil Manson were presented with Bravery awards at a Southland District Council ...

"It was pretty dark and bloody hard to see..."

Let's talk, Southland: Kirwan

Sir John Kirwan visited Northern Southland College, Lumsden, on Tuesday afternoon.

Mental health speeches "powerful, timely, relevant".

Aparima College to get new principal, board of trustees

Aparima College commissioner Nicola Hornsey.

Embattled Aparima College in Riverton is set to have elections to form a board of trustees after its new principal is recruited.

Ad Feedback