National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F)

The National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F) regulate activities that pose risks to the health of freshwater and freshwater ecosystems. Each of New Zealand’s regional councils are responsible for the consenting and consent monitoring associated with these regulations. This section of the website includes resources to help you determine consenting requirements for your land use activities around freshwater in the Horizons region.

Horizons Regional Council is currently working through the requirements and implications for monitoring and enforcement. We encourage all landowners to become familiar with what is required. A good starting point for this are the Ministry for the Environment’s policies and regulations factsheets and your relevant industry groups.

We've prepared some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in response to questions posed to us by landowners, or some that we anticipate may be asked in relation to the Essential Freshwater package. Please note that these FAQs predominately refer to the amended National Environmental Standards.
 

View the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater

Timeline for roll-out

View our FAQs

Stock Exclusion Regulations

Dairy and beef cattle, pigs and deer must be excluded from wetlands, lakes and rivers with a bed greater than or equal to one metre wide. Dates for compliance vary according to stock type and terrain.

Minimum setbacks of three metres between stock and the bed of a lake or river will be required, except where permanent fences or riparian planting is already in place to exclude stock.

Where practicable, bridges and culverts must be used to facilitate stock crossing waterways. Where such structures are impracticable, stock may only cross waterways where stock are being actively driven through the water.
 

Find out more about the Stock Exclusion s360 Regulations

Intensive Winter Grazing

As part of this package the new regulations for intensive winter grazing (IWG) come into effect on 1 May 2021. These rules apply to you if your property includes five hectares or more of horticulture, 20 hectares or more of pasture or arable crops, or 20 hectares or more of a combination of any of these.
 
We’re currently working through the requirements and implications for monitoring and enforcement, however, we also encourage all landowners to become familiar with what is needed. A good starting point is the Ministry for the Environment’s factsheets and your relevant industry groups.
 

Find out more about the new IWG regulations

IWG consenting requirements flowchart

Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes

Current provisions have been strengthened by including the requirement to provide telemetered data to us for takes of five litres per second by specified dates. This adds to existing requirements to meter these flows and provide records.
 

View the measurement and taking of water s360 regulations

Ministry for the Environment NES-F Webinars

NES-F and s360 regulations Part 1 - Continuous farm practice improvement

Overview of the new NES-F and S360 regulations related to intensive winter grazing, stockholding and stock exclusion


NES-F and s360 regulations Part 2 - Limiting intensification and nitrogen use
 
Overview of the new regulations related to N Cap and intensification.


Raising the bar on ecosystem health – wetlands, rivers and fish
 
Overview of the new regulations related to wetlands, rivers and fish passage.