Federated Farmers Marlborough Submission on the Next Steps for Freshwater Consultation Document

Issues of freshwater are of particular importance to Marlborough Federated Farmers. We have actively provided considered feedback to Marlborough District Council as they have released their draft Regional Policy Statement Chapters on Resource Quality and Natural and Physical Resources for comment. We have since September 2015 been engaged in conversations with Council on interpretation of stock access in the operative Wairau/Awatere Resource Management Plan. This was in response to a number of members bringing to our attention that the Council was requiring them to apply for a consent to move stock across a waterway.

It is of great concern to us that at present, Council’s interpretation is that farm animals in beds of rivers is a non-complying activity. Therefore, where stock need to have access or, or be moved through a waterway, a resource consent would in theory be required. This means that at present, every farmer in the Marlborough region whose stock had access to waterways could be prosecuted under the current plan. Not only could they be prosecuted, if the Council was indeed monitoring and enforcing its plan as it is required to do under sections 35 & 84 of the RMA, it should be taking enforcement action against all the farmers in the District. This is surely not how the plan was intended to be written, nor how it should be interpreted.

For more, please see the full submissions