More RMA stress and cost for farmers in Horizons region

April 4, 2017

Federated Farmers is deeply disappointed by a legal decision which suggests the Horizons Regional Council has not implemented the One Plan correctly and environmental gains are not being made.

The court decision announced today is now being carefully reviewed by Feds, so we can begin to understand the on-the-ground implications for our member farmers.

Federated Farmers Manawatu/Rangitikei provincial president James Stewart says we have to remember the enormous amount of good work and investment undertaken by farmers across the region to comply with the ‘One Plan’ regulations and that the plan’s objectives are being achieved.

"The council has worked very hard to implement a One Plan that’s workable and that does not put farmers out of business and improves water quality as needed.

"In fact water quality is already improving markedly with the improvements farmers have implemented, along with the work done by the community and council," James says.

"We really need farmers not to be discouraged by this decision. All farmers need to continue their vital work on environmental improvements, despite the uncertainty this legal decision brings."

Federated Farmers' Tararua provincial president Clint Worthington is concerned this decision will lead to costly red tape and lengthier processes, rather than targeted on the ground action on a case by case basis.

"Which just means more time, more cost and more stress for farmers.

"But after saying that, the one thing we really hope we don’t lose from all of this is the Council’s ability to see the importance of working with the sector to achieve efficient and effective water quality outcomes," Clint says.

"The region’s precious funds and efforts are better spent on improving the environment rather than in funding lawyers and consultants."