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The Government's Essential Freshwater Package has been out for a week and now the task at hand is trying to understand it, says Dr Tim Mackle.

DairyNZ's chief executive told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum he was still getting his head around the document.

"The bottom line I guess is many of us were not involved in the development of this package so now we've got our hands on it we need to get our heads around it and understand what the proposed policies mean in detail".

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Consultation workshops have been taking place around the country and DairyNZ is attending the five primary sector meetings to help farmers get good information and raise questions or concerns said Mackle.

Listen below:

The Government has allowed a six week consultation process, which Mackle said was "too short" and the timing was problematic for many farmers.

"Getting to these meetings is difficult, there's not many of them and it's a difficult time of year".

Mackle suggested farmers should take a look at the submission form, but that they shouldn't fill out every single question if they are pressed for time.

"It's a busy time of year for farmers and there's so much read through. Our suggestion is to ... pick an aspect that you know a little bit about or you've got some views one ... and if you disagree with the proposal, do you have an ideas on alternatives?"

Farmers are encouraged to prepare their own submissions and can find out more information on the DairyNZ website.

Also in today's interview: Mackle talked about digging into the science behind the water quality policy and how the exemption for hydro schemes could affect farmers.