The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has set a new deadline for landowners to lodge a full resource consent to meet the requirements of the Tukituki Catchment Plan.
Regulation group manager Liz Lambert said farmers now had until February 26, 2021.
"It's been an incredibly tough year for our rural community, dealing with a prolonged and complicated drought. During lockdown, it was impossible to organise a consent as consultants were unable to go on the farm for assessments," she said.
"In light of this, we have extended the deadline, which applies to farmers who were required to submit consents by May 31, 2020, but were unable to due to the restrictions."
Community meetings will be held over the coming weeks and council staff will be able to answer questions about the consenting process.
The Tukituki Catchment Plan focuses on improving water quality and freshwater resources.
Farmers need to apply for a resource consent if they are leaching nitrogen over the limits set by the plan, if their farm is within a Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) exceeding sub-catchment, if they are unable to prevent stock from accessing waterways, or are unable to install stock crossings.
As it was difficult for farmers to submit a full consent during lockdown, the council allowed people to submit a pre-application as a placeholder for a full consent.
"We are now asking landowners to submit their full consent by the new deadline," said Lambert.
The Minister for the Environment David Parker declined the regional council's application to fast-track a plan to change the way nitrogen leaching is modelled on farms in the Tukituki catchment.
The council has put together a new guide to the nitrogen loss Table 5.9.1D to help farmers when they are preparing a resource consent.
Further information, including procedural guidelines, guidance for low intensity properties and FAQs about the consenting process can be found on the council's website, search #tukituki