It is only by presenting a unified and cohesive alternative that farmers will see Plan Change 1 changed in their favour, writes Federated Farmers Auckland provincial president Andrew Maclean.

Planning life by one of the country's biggest and dynamic rivers is under way.

The hearing process on submissions for Plan Change 1 - Waikato Healthy Rivers is well under way.

This plan affects farmers and their communities in the Rotorua/Taupo, Waikato and Auckland areas.

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It is a huge issue for farmers affected in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments. Also, the inevitable impacts further afield.

The plan change needs a complete re-think to ensure regulations are sensible, practical and affordable for the sector.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

Regulations also need to be tailored to the particular water quality issues in each sub-catchment.

Our fundamental concern is the proposed plan change will not only result in a significant overshoot of water quality targets, but also it will impose unreasonable and unnecessary costs on farmers.

Rural industry bodies, businesses and farmers are looking at Federated Farmers to take leadership by developing an alternative planning framework as well as coordinating and collaborating with all rural interests.

Federated Farmers is the only pan sector rural organisation working on this and has put forward a comprehensive alternative framework.

Federated Farmers Auckland provincial president Andrew Maclean. Photo / Supplied
Federated Farmers Auckland provincial president Andrew Maclean. Photo / Supplied

It is only by presenting a unified and cohesive alternative that we will succeed in having Plan Change 1 changed in farmers' favour.

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As previously communicated, all this work requires significant funding.

Any funding donated goes towards experts' costs and participating in the council and Environment Court hearing processes.

As part of our coordination with other rural interests, we will aim to avoid duplication and share resources where we can.

This will be used above the considerable investment Federated Farmers is already spending into PC1 via in-house scientists, policy and RMA lawyers.

Due to the impact PC1 could have on your farm FFNZ suggests as a guidance, that farmers each donate $1000.

However, FFNZ is extremely grateful for any support you are able to provide.

You can phone 0800 327 646 to make a donation, for internet banking details and/ or request an invoice be sent to you.