Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan

Councils have plans that dictate what you can and can’t do on your farm. When these plans are being developed or changed, councils seek community feedback. This is your chance to have an impact on what the final plan will look like.

Submissions

We believe that farmers standing up and speaking on proposed changes is the most powerful way to impact change.

Since this is your opportunity to influence the rules and regulations you will farm under, it’s critical that you take the time to write a submission to say what you like and don't like about the plan and suggest better alternatives.

B+LNZ's submission

As well as encouraging farmers to speak up directly, we also lodged a comprehensive submission on behalf of our levy-paying farmers.

Based on farmer feedback and using our in-house environmental policy expertise, this document details aspects of the proposed plan change that impact on sheep and beef farmers and suggests amended wording to improve the plan’s workability.

B+LNZ’s submission – key areas addressed

The B+LNZ submission promoted encouraging proactive on-farm behaviour that front foots environmental issues, rather than a regulatory approach. The submission specifically addressed:

  • Acknowledging that each farm is unique – the plan should therefore have enough flexibility for farmers to make decisions that take into account their unique set of soil types, geography, rainfall, farm system and landforms. A farm environment plan is one way farmers can demonstrate how they will prioritise and manage environmental risks
  • Livestock accessing waterways – focus on the effects of the activity, not prescribing the activity itself
  • Woodlot forestry planting – amend rules so species establishment restrictions are managed though the Regional Pest Management Strategy, rather than the plan
  • Cultivation – amend standards so the focus shifts from inputs and onto effects
  • Fertiliser application – amend rules so focus shifts away from inputs and towards environmental effects; also allow farmers to meet standards of fertiliser application if they have an operational, council-approved farm environment plan

Why should you make a submission?

Making a submission is your opportunity to influence the rules and regulations. It’s critical that you say what you like about the plan and what you don’t like – and suggest alternatives that will work better for you.

What's next?

It’s important when making a submission that you tick the box to say you wish to present at the hearing. Even if you change your mind later, ticking the box means you still have that option open to you. If you don’t tick the box, then you can’t speak at the hearing.

While the hearing is several months away, take 10 minutes now to think about evidence you may want on hand at the public hearing. This could be on-farm photos you may want to take or documents you need copies of.

Jump ahead to the 'preparing for hearing' section on the timeline above to understand more about what you can do to prepare.

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