A win for Feds on Pc10, but there's more to do....
Federated Farmers is rapt with the Environment Court’s decision this week to comprehensively reject a proposal by Rotorua Lakes District Council, forestry and others to use Land Use Capability (LUC) for nitrogen allocation in the Rotorua catchment. It’s a big win for us, and a very important court ruling with far reaching repercussions. A team from Federated Farmers together with the Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective has been working for many years on this. Using evidence from member farmers in the catchment, experts and consultants, they were able to demonstrate to the court in March that the LUC proposal would fail farm businesses and their communities to the point of potential ruin.
The court’s well-written ruling was pretty much a slam-dunk for us, with the Court comprehensively rejecting the LUC proposal on all grounds. RLDC’s proposal would have meant most dairy and drystock farmers would have had to lease back nitrogen allocations given to forestry just to stay in business. As the court stated “…there would need to be compelling reasons in the public interest to use rules in a regional plan to compel such transfers. The evidence failed to demonstrate that such reasons exist.” The decision also flags the issues of using Overseer in regulation and its notable limitations, stating that it presents both procedural and substantive risks when used in regulation. These issues, amongst others, will be examined in a second hearing which will most likely be in 2020.
Federated Farmers allocated significant resources to the case because of the utterly devastating consequences for farming and the Rotorua community of this LUC proposal. We were the only group representing farmers in the matter but acknowledge DairyNZ for its contribution of financial resources and expertise.The result not only protects the livelihoods of farmers in the Rotorua district, but the ruling has important ramifications for other water quality/nitrogen allocation battles elsewhere in the country. Extra donations are crucial to ensure we can fight this battle nationwide. You can donate using Pay Pal here -->
For the Environment Court’s decision, click here.. https://www.fedfarm.org.nz/FFPublic/Contacts/Sign_in.aspx?WebsiteKey=00ff782d-8ff5-4a81-ae69-785972132c32&LoginRedirect=true&returnurl=%2fFFPublic%2fProvince%2fProvincial_Reports%2fRotorua-Taupo_2018_AGM_Reports%2fBefore_the_Environment_Court_Decision_No_2019_NZEnvC_136.aspx
And our press release http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/FFPublic/Media-Releases/2019/Court_rules_in_Feds__favour_on_PC10.aspx