Freshwater package – Make a submission

October 1 2019

In September, the Government released its Essential Freshwater package, proposing changes to the way freshwater is managed in New Zealand. The package includes a range of options that are now open for feedback.

“These proposals, if adopted, will have a big impact on dairy farmers, so we’re strongly encouraging farmers to make a submission,” says DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Dr David Burger.

“DairyNZ continues to work through the package’s detail to ensure farmers have the information they need to have their say. We have some of this country’s best water scientists, policy experts and economists analysing the proposal.

“Because we weren’t involved in developing the package, we’ve had to look at every detail and assess whether the proposed changes will bring about the desired effects and how it will affect farmers. We’ll provide this feedback in our submission, as well as viable and sensible alternatives where necessary.”

David says DairyNZ agrees with the intent of the package. “We’re all striving for improved water quality outcomes, and the dairy sector has been on this journey for over two decades. We know there’s more to do and have committed to continuous improvement through the Dairy Tomorrow strategy.

“At the same time, we need to be assured that these policies are underpinned by robust science and are based on outcomes. We welcome a focus on farm environment plans but have serious concerns about the new standards for instream nutrients. We’re also looking carefully at the proposed rules for wintering, stock exclusion and further intensification, to ensure these are practical and build off all the work farmers have already done.”

DairyNZ will share the technical analysis as it is available on the DairyNZ website, says David.

“We’ve already raised concerns about the tight time frames for submissions, and the Government has responded with an extension to October 31.

“We’re working closely with our Dairy Environment Leaders and trying to capture as much feedback as possible from our regional events, the Ministry for the Environment’s primary sector events, and your emails and phone calls coming into DairyNZ.

“We’ll also continue to showcase the progress our sector has already made in looking after waterways, to ensure politicians, the public and consumers are well informed. We also strongly encourage you to highlight, in your submission, all the great work you have already done.”

Making a submission
DairyNZ is providing support around how to make a submission. A full submission is ideal but they can be short – you don’t have to comment on every proposal or answer every question in the discussion document.

There’ll be no hearings as part of process, so making a submission to the Ministry for the Environment is the only way to get your opinion heard.

Submissions must be made by 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. To make a submission, or to learn more about the proposal and DairyNZ’s position, visit public and consumers are well informed. We also strongly encourage you to highlight, in your submission, all the great work you have already done.”

Article originally from Inside Dairy October edition.

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Vanessa Fever

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Lee Cowan

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