Comment: Although you may not think some regulations apply to your farming business you'd be wrong, writes Federated Farmers Otago provincial president Simon Davies.

Regulation is part of life.

But the thing is I really did not appreciate how much of my life, and more importantly my farming business, was captured by legislation and regulations.

This can't be highlighted better than since the last election.


Since the formation of the new Government, there has been a constant stream of reviews, introduction of new and modified legislation and regulations.

This on top of the changes made by the previous government, which are being implemented currently.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.
To give you an idea, below are just some examples of what has happened and what is coming:

As of May 1, 2018, new forestry regulations have come into force. As a farmer, you may say 'So what has that got to do with me?'

Well if you want to plant or harvest any trees on your property you need to know about this regulation - talk to your local regional council.

Recently, additional rules about minimum standards for rental properties were announced. Again, you might say 'So what! I don't have a rental property.'

Really? What about the workers' accommodation? This likely falls under this and indeed all rental accommodation legislation.

Another area of unintended consequences is around your family home on the farm.


Technically your home falls under urban district plans and regulation. Once again, you may say 'So what?'

Well when the urban water plans are finally developed and finalised your family home will fall under them. So your septic tank will have to comply with the new discharge standards. Potentially your domestic water source will have to meet the drinking water standards.

I am not suggesting that your local council is going to run around testing and enforcing these standards. However, these are examples of unintended consequences.

Federated Farmers Otago provincial president Simon Davies. Photo / Supplied
Federated Farmers Otago provincial president Simon Davies. Photo / Supplied

I have not even started on the list of general agricultural specific legislation which most of you are very aware of.

This list is going to get longer with activities like winter cropping and intensive stock feeding increasingly coming under the spotlight.

Farming is quickly becoming the most regulated industry in the country because farming involves so many activities.


As a result, every activity on the farms can have its own set of rules and regulation. Most of this legislation is written without farming in mind and is not targeting at farming industry.

However, activities on farm are caught up in it and as a result, there is a vast amount of unintended consequences.

Here is where I am putting in a plug for Federated Farmers.

The policy team are constantly reviewing new and modified legislation, regulations and proposed central and local government systems changes and looking for both intended and most importantly unintended consequences for the farming sector.

The benefits in the agricultural sector can not be quantified.

So next time the Fed farmers rep calls, think about the fact the our lives and businesses are subject to constantly changing regulation which has generally been sensed checked by the Federated farmers policy team.