Action plan accelerates waterway protection efforts

June 5, 2108

The Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality is a tangible illustration of commitment by the primary sector, local and central government to work together to enhance our streams and rivers, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson Chris Allen says.

“Our agriculture and horticulture industries are already a long way down the trail of environmental stewardship but this is an important step towards achieving higher standards,” Chris says.

The action plan, launched by Ministers David Parker and Damien O’Connor in the Waikato on June 5, has been developed by a governance group of representatives from the primary sectors, regional councils and the Primary Industries and Environment Ministries.  It encompasses 21 principles, target and practices around nutrient and effluent management, water use and irrigation, as well as waterway, land and soil protection.

“It’s all aimed at encouraging every farmer and grower to adopt good practice and put in place a Farm Environment Plan that boosts waterway protection on farm, and at catchment level,” Chris says.  “It also entails a system to monitor and report on progress.”

Chris says the principles and actions in the plan will not be new to many farmers, such as those who already have Farm Environment Plans.  “But it’s a comprehensive checklist they can use, and for farmers who are not up to speed on these things, it can be their impetus and starting point.”

Earnings from the primary sector underpin the New Zealand economy “and in a world where consumers are increasingly demanding of proof their food has been produced with high standards of animal and environmental care, we need to continue to lead the way”.