NZ Avocado has a responsibility to facilitate industry consultation and advocate on behalf of the avocado industry to ensure the interests of the horticulture sector are being accounted for in resource management planning and policy decisions. The industry must continue to actively participate in decision making on issues such as regional and district plans, property rights, water access and quality, along with an ever increasing array of environmental issues.
Understanding grower’s perspectives is key in determining how new polices or rules may impact on their horticulture operation. Partnering with Horticulture New Zealand and other industry groups, NZ Avocado has active involvement in the resource management planning process and will continue to facilitate opportunities for industry consultation.
Key areas of focus include:
- Maintaining an active relationship with regulators especially Regional and District Councils.
- Facilitating opportunities for Council consultation with growers.
- Supporting the appropriate use of industry and public funding for research to develop the required models & tools for industry to grow sustainably and meet compliance requirements.
- Work with Horticulture NZ and relevant industry groups on submissions to proposed changes to Council plans, regulations, National Policy Statements and National environmental standards.
- Continue to promote the concept of Good Management Practice to manage land and water resources.
For water management and policy resources click here
Repeal and replacement of the Resource Management Act (RMA)
The proposed Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) will be the main replacement for the Resource Management Act (RMA) as New Zealand’s primary environmental and planning law, covering environmental protection, natural resource management and urban development. A draft for the NBA was released for consultation on the 29th June 2021. This new integrated set of regulations will include mandatory environmental limits relating to freshwater, coastal waters, estuaries, air, soil and biodiversity. For the built environment, outcomes include well-functioning urban areas, more housing supply and enabling infrastructure. From a horticultural view the new Act will need to support a values-based food production system, which finds a way to balance all outcomes: healthy food and food security, as well as environmental and social outcomes, including housing and the productivity of our economy.
Specifically, the draft includes a new approach through:
• the introduction of environmental limits and a positive, outcomes-based approach is likely to improve environment quality over time versus the status quo
• increased land supply through spatial planning can better enable the market to respond to housing demand
• early identification of areas for development and infrastructure needs and less site-by-site decision-making through consents could provide improved housing supply and affordability
• efficient, sequenced development could reduce infrastructure costs, which could decrease development costs at the margin
• likely increased control for Iwi/Māori over resource use decision-making, and greater recognition and provision for outcomes relating to their role as kaitiaki, their development aspirations and their access to resources.
Background material can be found here. Horticulture NZ has also provided a short summary of the Resource Management reform which can be downloaded below.
Fresh water farm plans
Fresh water farm plans are now recognised as a way for growers to assess their environmental risks and demonstrate progress towards environmental objectives to meet both National and Regional requirements. For more information on fresh water farm plans please click here.
He Waka Eke Noa – Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership
In October 2019, Government agreed to work together to implement a framework to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and build the agriculture sector’s resilience to climate change by 2025. Through this framework, farmers and growers will be empowered to; measure, manage and reduce on-farm emissions, recognise and increase on farm carbon sequestration and adapt to a changing climate. The New Zealand avocado industry remains involved to advocate for growers specifically in the areas of farm planning, emissions reporting and implementation pathways to ensure these are linked to existing industry systems.
For more information about the climate action partnership please click here.
HortNZ represents the horticulture industry in the He Waka Eke Noa partnership on climate change. For more details please click here.
The He Waka Eke Noa partners completed broad nationwide engagement with their farmers and growers on agricultural emission pricing system options in February and March 2022. There are two alternative pricing options to horticulture joining the Emissions Trading Scheme. Click here to read more about the two options.
Feedback from engagement will form part of the final policy recommendations to the Minister of Climate Change and the Minister of Agriculture by 31 May 2022. The Government will consider He Waka Eke Noa recommendations and make final decisions on an agricultural emissions pricing system which will be running in 2025.
Regional policy and regulatory updates
Northland Agrichemical rules
Agrichemical rules relating to spray sensitive areas have been finalised in Northlands Regional Plan. The new spray rules are now enforceable and the previous rules no longer apply. For a brief summary and links download below.
HortNZ held an online webinar to support growers in understanding the new rules and their responsibilities. Slides from this webinar can be downloaded below.