Water is good for farming and farming is good for the Bay of Plenty, writes Federated Farmers senior regional policy advisor Martin Meier.

It is fair to say water is incredibly important to all Bay of Plenty residents.

There is not a community in the Bay, or industry that could exist without it.

Water is needed for much of the farming activities in the Bay of Plenty and farming and primary production activities are important for the social, economic and culture wellbeing of people and communities in the Bay of Plenty.

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Agriculture does not just bring economic benefits to the region, farming is the fabric that keeps rural communities together.

In short, water is good for farming and farming is good for the Bay of Plenty.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty has recently pulled off some big wins for farmers in the Bay.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council announced its decision on Plan Change 9 (interim water allocation) and Federated Farmers achieved many of the points it argued for, including: no separate water meters are required for stock drinking takes; reports on water meter readings do not need to be daily to council, as monthly reporting is sufficient, and no claw-back of resource consent in over-allocated water bodies for now.

We didn't get everything we wanted but what we got shows that a reasoned argument can bring in good sense regulations.

We also acknowledge the willingness of the council to turn their minds to the problems and accept solutions from outside the council.

The council is hard at work on the wider topic of freshwater and it has ambitious, but critical, tasks ahead of it.

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There is real potential for permanent and positive change to the overall water quality in the Bay.

We look forward to working with the council to achieve these goals.

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of quality science, sound evidence and robust cost benefit analyses in development of strategies to achieve these goals.