Turakina dairy farmer Andrew Major is frustrated by the difficulty of renewing his existing consent to spread effluent on sandhills.

He's had the consent for 24 years. It is due for renewal next year and he is beginning the process of applying to Horizons Regional Council.

He was hoping to be offered help, but has been told he will be emailed a form to fill in.

It's good that he's applying early, Horizons Regional Council strategy and regulation manager Dr Nic Peet said. Applying six months before the consent is due to expire means he will be able to continue to operate under the old consent until the new one is decided.


Major's computer is being repaired, and he hasn't got the emailed form yet. Peet said it would require new information not needed in the 1990s when he last applied.

DairyNZ has told him it will not help individuals to fill out the form, and has given him the names of two businesses that could help. Or, it suggested he go to a field day to get the information he needs.

"I just don't know why it has to be so difficult. It's an existing consent. Why does everybody send you away?" Major said.

Peet suggests he ask Horizons' Rural Advice Team for help with the form.

"Our Rural Advice team is always happy to help so please ask the farmer to get in touch with them on 0508 800 800 if he hasn't already."

The council wants to change the numbers in its controversial One Plan Table 14.2, which set nitrogen leaching limits many farmers have been unable to meet. It intends to change those numbers to those in a newer version of the Overseer nutrient budgeting programme.

The process is taking months, and the council wants to streamline it.

Wording for the plan change is with the Environment Ministry for approval, before an application to change the plan is made.


Peet said the council does a lot of work with individual farmers and appreciates their ongoing uncertainty about consents. About 200 farms are waiting for the plan change.

Until the One Plan rules have been changed and people planning new developments need to plan to meet the current table, he said.