Essential Freshwater regulations aim to restore and protect the health of New Zealand waterways. Hawke’s Bay has regional rules you may need to be aware of in the Regional Resource Management Plan.
The Hawke’s Bay community values healthy waterways for recreation, drinking water, mahinga kai, ecological health and to support industries such as farming and tourism.
The new national rules in the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater and regulations will provide certainty and clarity for our communities. We will need to work together to achieve the improvements we all want to see. Achieving healthy waterways for Hawke’s Bay is everyone’s responsibility.
At Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, we are responsible for implementing the new regulations and rules, and monitoring compliance. We will work alongside the region’s rural landowners and our urban residents to provide information and support as the new rules roll out.
We are already underway with a work programme to implement the new Essential Freshwater rules, including information about when each new rule will apply and what rural landowners will need to do. We are taking an “education first” approach to the implementation of these changes and working proactively with the community to ensure the understanding of new requirements and obligations.
We know there are a lot of changes to take in and understand. We’re here to help.
If you would like more information about the new rules and how they might affect you please call 06 835 9200 and ask to speak to our consents team if it’s about whether you need a resource consent. You could also email Consentadvisor@hbrc.govt.nz. There’s more information about applying for a resource consent here.
The new rules come in stages, so you will be able to adapt to the new regulations over a period of time.
The rules that came into effect on 3 September 2020 cover the following topics:
Regulations for measuring and reporting water takes have also been revised.
The following topics are covered by the new national rules. Find out more below:
If you meet the following conditions in your feedlot you won’t need a consent to meet the Essential Freshwater rules:
If you operate a feedlot, you may need a resource consent from HBRC if you don't meet the conditions set out above. You will need to be able to demonstrate in your resource consent application that you can:
If you have or plan to create a stock-holding area, then similar standards will apply from 1 July 2021. You will need to check whether you need to apply to HBRC for a resource consent.
If you want to do any of the following between now and the end of 2024, you will have to obtain a resource consent from HBRC to:
You will be able to graze stock on forage crops in winter without needing a resource consent if:
Please note, if you’re currently intensively winter grazing you can keep doing this for 6 months after the new rule comes in in May 2021 if you have existing use rights. This means you’ll need to apply for a resource consent for intensive winter grazing by Oct 31 2021 to ensure you can continue to graze this way for winter in 2022.
From 3 September 2020, you will need to:
From 3 September 2020:
All pastoral farmers will have to keep synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use below 190 kg N/ha/year. If you are applying synthetic nitrogen fertiliser over this amount, you’ll need to reduce synthetic nitrogen fertiliser rates to make sure that after 1 July 2021 you do not exceed the cap or obtain a resource consent from HBRC. This may mean you have to reduce stocking rates or take other actions to reduce rates of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser on your land.
From 1 July 2021, all dairy farmers will need to record synthetic nitrogen fertiliser applied and the area it was applied to. You will then have to report to HBRC on what you use annually.
The cap does not apply to arable or horticultural land use.
These aren’t required immediately, but over the next 12+ months the government will work with stakeholder groups to develop the requirements of these, so it’s a good time to start preparing. It’s likely that they will need to include:
The regulations about measuring water takes have been extended. If you have a resource consent to take 5 litres or more of water per second (e.g. for irrigation) you will need to measure the water you take every 15 minutes and report this electronically to HBRC on a daily basis. This is achieved using a telemetry system.
The introduction of this requirement is being staggered. You must comply within:
Note: Resource consent conditions may require telemetry before the dates outlined in the regulations.
The Ministry for the Environment also has more detailed information about how different groups and communities will be affected by the reforms and when they need to do what:
For more information, visit the Ministry for the Environment website.
The Government is still developing some other national rules, including for stormwater and wastewater discharges, and developing more details on the mandatory freshwater farm plan modules.
The Government is providing some funding for freshwater initiatives, in particular the Freshwater Improvement Fund and Te Mana o te Wai Fund. For more information visit the MfE website.
A new freshwater planning process was introduced in the Amendment to the Resource Management Act (August 2020).
The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM 2020) has also been updated, coming into force on 3 September 2020.
Together, these two changes mean that we will review all freshwater provision in the Regional Resource Management Plan to implement the NPS-FM 2020. By law we must notify the proposed new freshwater provisions for every catchment in Hawke's Bay by 31 December 2024. The new freshwater planning process will be used in the hearing and decision-making process.
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