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Tukituki Farms Plans get sorted

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is getting a great response from the remaining landowners working to complete farm plans for their Tukituki catchment properties.

Regulation Manager Liz Lambert is very pleased with the contact coming back from non-compliant landowners, and the Tukituki catchment is now more than 90% covered by Farm Plans.

The Regional Council hit its first regulation deadline under the Tukituki Plan (Plan Change 6) on 31 May. Every owner of land over 4 hectares now needs to show evidence of a Farm Environmental Management Plan, or be in the line of fire for enforcement action.

“Out of the 1,229 properties that need a Farm Plan or FEMP, we’ve got 253 property owners still without a recorded FEMP or low-intensity form. The early actions of many landowners means less focus on regulation for us, and more effort put into getting the work done on-farm. Unfortunately, we will need to move to enforcement action or prosecution proceedings for those who don’t act,” says Mrs Lambert.

The Regional Council has already sent letters to landowners in the process of getting a Farm Plan as well as those without a recorded Farm Plan, and is monitoring the completion of these on a weekly basis.

“Farm Plans are a document like any other plan, so we’ll also develop an audit programme checking that actions in each Farm Plan have been carried out. This won’t become our focus immediately, but the deadline for this is 2020,” adds Mrs Lambert.

The next trigger point for the Regional Council is new minimum flow levels taking effect on the Tukituki River as of 1 July. These come into force during winter, and will become a point of focus leading up to expected low-flows in the river this summer.

Any landowner who still needs to complete or start the process for a Farm Plan can get more information at hbrc.govt.nz, search: #farmplan or email tukituki@hbrc.govt.nz.

21 June 2018

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