As part of the Essential Freshwater package, farms over a certain size will require a certified Freshwater Farm Plan (FW-FP).
All farms with the following land uses will require an FW-FP:
These regulations are expected to take effect in 2022, and a requirement for FWFPs to be certified will be phased in beginning mid-2022.
FWFPs are a tool designed to stop further decline in freshwater quality, make water quality improvements within five years, and begin to reverse past damage to our waterways. FWFPs will identify practical on-farm actions to help improve local waterways. These will depend on the farm’s location, catchment, and local environment, and will provide a more flexible alternative to consents and one-size-fits-all approaches.
Your FW-FP will need to include information on:
Tukituki Catchment farms are already required to have a Farm Environment Management Plan (FEMP) However, FW-FPs will be required for all farms in the region with more than 20 hectares in arable or pastoral use or five hectares in horticultural use.
FW-FPs are similar to Tukituki FEMPs, but individual farm plans will need to be linked to the specific freshwater objectives for their catchment.
We are currently working with other regional councils on a process for introducing FW-FPs. While we await decisions on how exactly FWFPs will be implemented, it is important that farmers with Tukituki FEMPs continue to follow that plan and focus on their next update.
In 2020, the Government brought in legislation that requires regional councils to implement FW-FPs. In 2021, it undertook a major consultation exercise to seek views on the details of how FWFPs should be implemented. The results of the consultation are now being evaluated and the detailed implementing rules and requirements for FW-FPs are expected to be published mid-2022.
Once these new rules and requirements for FW-FPs are published, we will design and roll out a programme to implement FWFPs across Hawke’s Bay. This will involve requesting FW-FPs for farms that are not currently required to have a Tukituki FEMP, as well as transitioning those farms with Tukituki FEMPs into the new FWFP framework.
We expected that it will take several years to phase in FW-FPs on all farms that need to have one, and we will be working closely with the farming industry, to help farms navigate and implement the legal requirements of a FW-FP.
If you have any questions about the new Essential Freshwater regulations contact The Policy Implementation Regulation team - call us on 06 835 9200 or 0800 108838.
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