Tukituki Resource Consents
Federated Farmers has been striving to address the valid farmer concerns around implementation of the Tukituki Plan Change 6. Coupled with the drought and coronavirus disruptions, we understand this has been a stressful time for farmers.
We have left no stone unturned trying to achieve a deadline delay to account for the coronavirus disruptions. No delay has resulted, but we have achieved a placeholder consent option for farmers, where only two forms need to be filled out and lodged with the Council as placeholders, and the rest of the information can be lodged later after the National State of Emergency has subsided. These placeholder consents still need to be in by 31 May 2020.
Federated Farmers has also been developing a consenting framework to make it easier and cheaper for you to apply for consent, however this has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown has removed our ability to help put together fit-for-purpose applications: farmers can’t meet with consultants, important documents can’t be accessed, and everyone is understaffed and under the pump. Please register your interest here.
Federated Farmers has written to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the 6th of May to ask that the drought does not skew farmers’ individual nitrogen profiles and allowances when they seek resource consent.
Federated Farmers is concerned this year’s drought will skew farmers’ four year rolling averages of nitrogen. Most farmers have destocked drastically to cope with the drought, which will result in a much lower N profile than normal. If these farmers are given consent based on their skewed N average, they could find themselves with a much lower allowance than they need for their normal farming. This is compounded by the fact that many of these farms are already operating under their LUC limits.
Other farmers will retain the same stock numbers but bring in more supplementary feed, causing a much higher N profile. A higher N profile could push them over the limit, or up into the next, more stringent, consent bracket, making it harder to get resource consent.
Either way, this year's drought will create an outlier N profile, which demonstrates the problem that a consent is rigid when farming needs to be flexible.
A copy of this letter can be found on the right hand side.
On the 18th of May Rex Graham replied to the above letter. His response can be found on the right hand side, reiterating that the purpose of having a rolling 4 year average is to mitigate these effects.
Letter to Minister David Parker
On 5 April Federated Farmers wrote a letter together with the Hawkes Bay Regional Council l to the Honourable David Parker, Minister for the Environment. We ask the Minister to invoke his extraordinary powers under the National State of Emergency to defer the deadline by 12 months.
The Hon. Parker replied on 29 April saying that he did not consider his powers under existing legislation would be able to adequately address, in a timely manner, the deadline issues in relation to Tukituki Plan Change 6. He wrote that while the placeholder consent approach is not an ideal solution, it is a pragmatic approach.
Please find a copy of these to the right.
Farmers need to get their placeholder consent applications in by 31 May 2020. These will protect you from being technically without a consent, and extra information can be added later once the pandemic is over. You should have received notice from HBRC that you need consent.
To do this, farmers will need to fill in the Council’s application forms on their HBRC Tukituki webpage.
- Fill in Administration Form A
- Plus this specific Tukituki Form A
- If you have any other information that you had put together for the consent application, send that in too for good measure, even if it is not finished.
- Email to HBRC at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or post to: Tukituki Consents team, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Private Bag 6006, Napier 4142.
- No fee charged during the pandemic, but expect Council fees later.
If you need help filling out these forms, just give Federated Farmers Rhea Dasent a call.
The Regional Council will need full consent applications from farmers at a later date once the pandemic dies down, and the Federated Farmers Tukituki Consent Pathway will help you do this.
One of the problems facing Tukituki farmers was that the table of N limits by LUC was calculated using an old version of Overseer, yet farmers had to use Overseer FM to calculate their farm N Profiles. These two different versions of Overseer meant that apples were being compared to oranges.
However significant progress has already been made for farmers, in that Federated Farmers has convinced HBRC to update the LUC Table using Overseer FM. This makes sure that apples are being compared to apples and farmers’ N profiles are measured against the limits using the same version of Overseer. HBRC has to go through an official process to get the update locked in, which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Federated Farmers Tukituki Consent Pathway
Federated Farmers has developed a Tukituki Consent Framework that you can join if you choose to. Unfortunately, this pathway is on hold due to COVID-19, but we will get it up and running ASAP.
Federated Farmers is here to help farmers like you to navigate the Tukituki consent process. We want the process to be as simple and cost-effective as possible so you can keep farming with confidence. Please register your interest with us now, so we can get started helping you put together a practical and robust consent application as soon as the pandemic is over Please Register here.
If you choose to join the Federated Farmers Tukituki Consent Pathway, when we do the full process you will reduce your consultant costs as opposed to going it alone. Members of Federated Farmers will also receive a discount.
As a member, this will be one of the many benefits you receive, as well as local and national advocacy. To become a member ring Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646, or visit www.fedfarm.org.nz/join
We look to forward working with all of you to enable ongoing productive farming in the Tukituki catchment.
Tukituki farmer and community caucus group
The consenting for farms in the Tukituki River catchment will be the biggest regulatory challenge for Hawkes Bay to date. A whopping 330 farm resource consent applications must be received by Hawkes Bay Regional Council (HBRC) by 30 May 2020.
A group of dedicated local farmers and business leaders in Central Hawkes Bay has been meeting and undertaking actions in order to help their fellow farmers and communities get through the biggest regulatory challenge that CHB has ever faced.
This group was formed after the successful farmer meeting held at the Tikokino Hall on 30 October 2019. Recognising that the implementation of the Tukituki Plan Change will affect not just farmers, but also local businesses, the group has been meeting regularly to come up with solutions for the entire Central Hawkes Bay community.
The group met with Hawkes Bay Regional Council councillors and staff on 18 December 2019, and again on 15 January 2020, to try and broker a solution.
This group has been working closely with Federated Farmers for the good of the Central Hawkes Bay community, which relies on farming for its wellbeing.