skip to main content

Freshwater Farm Plans

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:

  • •20 hectares or more in arable or pastoral use
  • Five hectares or more in horticultural use
  • 20 hectares or more of combined use.

These regulations are expected to take effect in 2022, and a requirement for FWFPs to be certified will be phased in beginning mid-2022.

What is a Freshwater Farm Plan

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.

What will I need to include in my Freshwater Farm Plan?

Your FW-FP will need to include information on:

  • your catchment – including values, ecosystem and community outcomes
  • risk identification and impact assessment – including the identification of critical source areas, plans for the management of fodder crops and wetlands
  • actions to mitigate risks – including plans to strategically fence waterways, restore wetlands, and intensive winter grazing plans
  • how you will meet the NES-F – including meeting the synthetic nitrogen cap, intensive winter grazing, stock holding and wetland rules
  • how you will exclude stock from waterways and meet the new stock exclusion regulations.

Freshwater Farm Plans and Tukituki Farm Environment Management Plans

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.

How will we implement Freshwater Farm Plans?

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.

Need help?

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.


Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Hawke's Bay Regional Council - / +64 6 835 9200 /