Farmers surveyed on wildly inaccurate ‘low slope’ maps

1 September, 2020

With the government already agreeing flawed aspects of new freshwater regulations will need to be changed, Federated Farmers is highlighting the case for a review of land deemed ‘low slope’ for the purposes of stock exclusion from waterways.

“We’re about to survey our members to get more specific information on where the  Ministry for the Environment’s final low slope maps are wrong, so we can advocate for the best way forward,” Feds water spokesperson Chris Allen says.

“The low slope maps take in some hill and high country that is so steep, the farmers will need to pay for helicopters to lift poles and other supplies in order to fence off the waterways. 

“The government requirements as written have come as one hell of a shock to low intensity/high country farmers given the obscene costs it will take to comply.”

The increase in pastoral land now defined as ‘low slope’ has increased from the 3.8 million hectares consulted on by the government in 2019, to 6 million hectares in the MfE maps now published.  This pushes the total cost to around $4.4 billion – four times what the government estimated it would cost in their cost/benefit analysis.    

“Federated Farmers supports the intent of excluding cattle, deer and pigs from waterways on intensively grazed low slope land and when strip grazed, but unfortunately this is another instance of the final regulations being well off the mark.” 

Landowners can check out how much of their land is defined as low slope land via the following website