Plan Change 7- Outstanding Waterbodies

Federated Farmers Hawkes Bay advocates on members’ behalf to Hawkes bay Regional Council, Hastings District Council, and Central Hawkes Bay District Council, on all matters that will affect farmers. Every year we submit on council rates income and spending plans, and also on any Resource Management Act proposals.


We have been working on the Hawkes Bay Regional Council’s Plan Change 7, in which the Council identifies 38 waterbodies as meeting their criteria as being “outstanding” and a suite of objectives and policies to protect them. Federated Farmers disagreed because the large number of waterbodies, the massive size of some of them (the Heretaunga aquifer) and all five of the major Hawkes Bay Rivers being classified, suggests to us that the threshold for “outstandingness” is too low.  It is also Federated Farmers expectation that the Regional Council consults directly with landowners, which did not happen. 
Not only did the Regional Council not consult with landowners about the proposed change in status for these water bodies, but they neglected to include evidence of significant values for these water bodies that is needed to justify their elevation in status to 'outstanding' water bodies. We say that many of these water bodies are not outstanding, and will be vigorously opposing this plan change in hearings anticipated for later in 2020. 

Federated Farmers policy advisers, Rhea Dasent and Peter Matich have prepared expert evidence for the Hearing Panel appointed by the Regional Council to hear submissions on the Plan Change 7. Our evidence is due to be heard by the Panel on 2 November 2020 at the Hawkes Bay Business Hub, 36 Bridge Street, Ahuriri, Napier.

Stay tuned for future updates on this!