Horizons Regional Council is preparing new applications and guidance material for intensive land use consents under its One Plan, following an Environmental Court decision.
Complex issues have been raised, including assessment of individual farming operations on overall water quality and being able to translate legal decisions into a practical consenting process. Horizons advises farmers to wait until the new material is available before applying for consents.
Horizons chief executive Michael McCartney said evaluation of the One Plan and the court process revealed a number of weaknesses in the current plan to be addressed when considering the implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.
He encouraged farmers to continue to reduce the environmental impact of their practices. Over the past decade 58 per cent of 36 monitored sites for water quality show improvement, none in decline.