Below is a snippet from an article from NZIPIM. It contains important about the Government plans to clear our waterways and how it will affect farmers. If you would like advice or information specific to you the feel free to call us at 03 307 6455 or email us at


The Government has released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways which sets out the proposed new requirements to improve freshwater and to stop further degradation of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers (summary document available here). A full copy of a joint media release from the Minister for the Environment and Minister of Agriculture can be found here

Contained within the Action Plan for Healthy Waterways are a number of proposals targeted at changing farm practices to improve water quality. These can be broadly summarised into the following areas:

  • Ensuring all farmers and growers have a plan to manage risks to freshwater.
  • Tightly restrict any further intensification of land use through interim measures until all regions have operative freshwater management plans.
  • Reduce nitrogen loss in catchments with high nitrate/nitrogen levels through interim measures until all regions have operative freshwater management plans.
  • Exclude stock from waterways.
  • Apply standards for intensive winter grazing, feedlots and stock holding areas.

Further to this, the proposed National Environmental Standards for Freshwater sets out potential regulations under the proposed Action Plan for Healthy Waterways

Primary sector and public meetings

The Ministry for the Environment are holding a number of public meetings across the country to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn more about proposals relating to freshwater, urban development, highly productive soils, product stewardship and the hazardous substances reassessment process. A list of public meetings can be found here

The Ministry is also inviting farmers and growers to primary sector meetings, where the focus will be mainly on the freshwater proposals, which are listed below.

  • 11 September (10.00am – 12.00pm) – Hotel Ashburton, Ashburton
  • 12 September (10.00am – 12.00pm) – Winton Golf Club, Winton
  • 19 September (6.00pm – 8.00pm) – Landing Service Conference Centre, 2 George Street, Timaru
  • 24 September (10.00am – 12.00pm) – Mystery Creek, Hamilton
  • 26 September (5.30pm – 7:30pm) – Solway College, Masterton (TBC)