The Government will be taking a pragmatic approach to changes to freshwater management and the RMA, says Environment Minister Amy Adams.
Speaking to Federated Farmers' National Council, Ms Adams made it clear that during the coming months a lot of work will be going into ensuring new rules for water allocation and water quality will help unlock gains in agricultural productivity, while also protecting the environment.
The minister also assured the audience that although urban-dwellers hadn't yet grasped this, both she and the Government were well aware all New Zealanders, not just farmers, needed to do their bit to improve water quality.
Adams indicated reforms to the RMA were on their way to reduce the long timeframes and excessive costs for decisions, be they for regional and district plans, or for processing of simple resource consents.
She also promised changes to improve the quality and robustness of councils' 'section 32 analyses' - cost-benefit analyses that have proven woefully inadequate at assessing the impacts of council plans and policies on primary production and the economy.
Adams also touched on the 'huge' public and private investment being made through the Government's ultra fast broadband and rural broadband initiatives.
Given farmers' increasing use of and reliance on technology for their businesses, Adams said farmers stood to benefit the most from the investment.