On The Country today, Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said he was happy to have a robust debate on freshwater reforms - as long as "we stick to the facts".
With that in mind, The Country's Jamie Mackay went into "robust" mode with his first question on how these reforms would affect winter grazing in the south.
"Your new winter grazing proposals for Otago and Southland are totally unrealistic and totally unworkable - what do you say in your defence?"
The Government wasn't averse to making changes, said O'Connor, who hinted that some had been made only yesterday - however these were not confirmed at the time of recording.
Whatever had or hadn't been changed, one thing was certain - Otago Southland farmers were unhappy with the Government's proposals on pugging and replanting.
Under the new proposals, pugging was restricted to hoof prints in the ground no deeper than 20cms and no more than 50 per cent of a paddock.
Another proposal required Otago Southland farmers to resow cropping paddocks by November 1 - something that Mackay said wasn't feasible in those provinces.
The point of the restrictions was to provide animals with a dry space to sit, said O'Connor.
He also added that replanting would make sure paddocks weren't left bare for a long time.
"The intent is to have bare paddocks for as little time as possible, which are addressed by either undersowing or by getting a crop back in as quickly as you can."
Although Federated Farmers was not consulted, the Government had sought advice from DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand, said O'Connor.
"We had good representation from practical people all the way through this."
However, some winter grazing regulations "needed to be adjusted" and there would be differences on how these would be carried out depending on the region.
"What we've got to do is work through [it]– as you do with any regulation. The implementation for Southland will be different from that in the Waikato, different from that in Northland and the West Coast – and we'll be working with the regional councils to make sure that we work with the farmers to put that stuff in place – and no doubt they'll come back and say we need to change this - we accept that."
Meanwhile, real progress had been made in Southland with winter grazing and O'Connor slammed "idiots" promoting "ridiculous videos" of bad practise from previous years.
"I don't support that kind of muck-raking when farmers, I think, are accepting that we can't have those images we've seen all too often, repeated in the future."
Ultimately change was part of the process when it came to these regulations, said O'Connor.
"There will be mistakes made from time to time, we'll make those changes where necessary but we've got to get on and do it."
Also in today's interview: Mackay asked O'Connor why Environment Minister David Parker hadn't responded to farmers' concerns yet.