Regional and District Councils are consulting with all land owners and the public on issues from fresh water through to land use and need to hear grower’s perspectives to determine how new polices or rules may impact on horticulture.New Zealand Avocado are working with Horticulture NZ and growers in preparing submissions on the proposed changes to Regional and District plans around the country.
NORTHLAND REGIONAL PLANThe Northland Regional Council has developed a draft Regional Plan to manage fresh water, land, air and the coast.The feedback period closed 23 September 2016, but you can still read the plan and view the feedback provided http://www.nrc.govt.nz/newregionalplan
BAY OF PLENTY – REGION-WIDE WATER QUANTITY PLAN CHANGEThe Regional Water and Land Plan Proposed Plan Change 9 (Region-wide Water Quantity Plan Change) provides for an overarching set of region wide rules and policies related to water quantity, and these are to be refined in consequential sub – regional plan changes through the next three years. The Regional Council has developed a series of community reference groups in these sub-catchments including avocado growers. These groups are discussing limits on resource use and water allocation policy.
The proposed plan change
- Require the registration of all permitted takes.
- Require enhanced metering and reporting requirements including a significant increase in telemetry.
- For properties less than 5 ha the amount of groundwater able to be taken without resource consent (permitted take) reduces from 35m3/day/property to 15m3/day/property
- Make obtaining new water take consents in under allocated resources easier to obtain. New water take consents in over allocated resources will be more difficult to obtain.
UNAUTHORISED WATER TAKESA recent issue has been resolving a process to consent a large number of unauthorised water takes. Through an amnesty type process a number of BOP growers have now consented these takes, but there are others who will not have taken advantage of the amnesty. It is likely those growers who are still unauthorised will find it difficult to access water when they are discovered in the future.
WHANGAREI DISTRICT PLAN CHANGESThe submission period for the Whangarei District plan has closed and a summary of all submissions is expected in a few months. At that time growers will be able to make further submissions supporting the Horticulture NZ submission. After that there will be a hearing before the Council (potentially mid 2017) where growers will have the opportunity to speak about the impact of the changes before decisions are made on the proposed changes.Below are the Horticulture NZ submissions on the Whangarei District Plan changes.