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Offer of free consent for farmers closes next week
19 September 2017

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is encouraging farmers that are ready to move to the next stage of Plan Change 10 to register for a free resource consent. The offer has been available to landowners of properties over 40 hectares in the Rotorua Catchment since 1st July and closes on 30th September which waives the fee estimated at around $1000. 

The recently adopted plan change to the Regional Water and Land Plan introduced rules aimed to reduce nitrogen loss on land that then enters the lake.  They have been developed with input from Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme partners (Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust), landowners, stakeholders, technical and science experts, and the community through feedback received at public meetings, hui, information sessions.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder says to date 32 landowners have registered for a free consent.

“A fair majority of the farmers in our catchment have been well aware of the rules for some time. Some of them were instrumental in the development phase and just want to get on with it. Our environment won’t wait, so we want to help them do so.”

Most farms over 40 hectares will need a resource consent. A requirement of the consent is to produce a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) that outlines how they will meet their Nitrogen Discharge Allocation by 2032.

“We will pay for farmers to work with approved independent Land Use Advisors to develop an NMP. We’re offering to help with the paper work required by the rules so they can get on with the real work, managing their farms.”

To find out if the rules affect you, access the funding to develop an NMP and/or register for a free consent contact Regional Council’s Advice and Support Service on (07) 921 3377. 

Background

  • Plan Change 10 introduced rules for rural properties in the Lake Rotorua catchment, to limit the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua from land use in order to improve water quality.
  • To meet water quality standards set by the community, nitrogen entering the lake must reduce by 320 tonnes by 2032. Less than half of that, 140 tonnes, will come from these proposed rules, and subsequent land use change.
  • An additional reduction of 100 tonnes of nitrogen will come from voluntary land use changes purchased by the Lake Rotorua Incentives Committee; 30 tonnes will come from voluntary gorse conversion; while 50 tonnes will come from engineering initiatives.

For more information on the development of the rules and what it will mean for landowners visit http://www.rotorualakes.co.nz/plan-change-10

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