Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott has raised concerns about the harmful impacts of the government's recently announced Action for Health Waterways on local farmers before consultation events.

Earlier in the week, Scott met with local mayors, farmers, consultants and community to discuss the implications of the new legislative standards.

He said it had created a wave of anger across the Wairarapa electorate and that many he spoke with expressed feelings of betrayal.

"The resounding message I have heard is frustration at being excluded from a process, the unrealistic time frames and the lack of any understanding about on-farm reality from the Ministry for the Environment.


"They are rightly concerned at the government's freshwater policy proposals being rammed through in a short time frame in the middle of lambing and calving."

Scott emphasised the importance of water but said that policy changes needed to be pragmatic and science driven, rather than idealism.

"Water is both a critical strategic asset and a source of recreation in New Zealand, and we all know it must be abundant, healthy, clean and cost effective." he said.

"Impacts on New Zealand's ability to grow food economically won't just impact GDP it will affect horticulture, arable, dairy, sheep and beef prices at home.

"The implications for the cost of water supply and waste management for our councils are huge.

"These changes will hit your back pocket."

On Tuesday night he attended the Wainuioru Catchment Scheme meeting where he heard how the policy changes would impact current plans.

"The Wainuioru community had a steady plan towards a realistic outcome.


"The freshwater proposals will impact on existing plans, over-riding community initiatives, dictated by Wellington bureaucrats — it's not good.

"What a waste of five years of work by the Whaitua Committee."

Scott also raised concerns about the mental health of rural communities under pressure.

"I have heard disbelief that after five years of Ruamahanga Whaitua consultation the agreed community plan has been overridden," he said.

"I have heard the despair from farmers and first responders at the mental health of our rural communities — our people are under extreme pressure.

"I see no sign that Damien O'Connor's Rural Proofing Cabinet Paper has been taken any heed of at all."

He said he would also be attending a consultation session with representatives from the Ministry of Environment.

The meeting focuses on the government's Essential Freshwater Proposals and offers locals a chance to have their say.

A separate 'farmer only' consultation event is being run before it, from 9.30am to 11.30am, by Beef and Lamb New Zealand, Dairy New Zealand and Federated Farmers.