Flights to identify land use in the Rangitīkei Region

Horizons Regional Council will be undertaking flights over the Rangitīkei River catchment during the week of 12 July to get a bird’s eye view of land use in the region and to identify water quality risks.

These flights are the first in a series of monitoring work being undertaken by Horizons. This is required by central government as part of the National Environment Standards for Freshwater (NES-F) regulations which were introduced in September 2020. These detail the national direction for halting the degradation of our rivers, lakes and streams.
In March 2021, central government announced that some of the new regulations around Intensive Winter Grazing would be deferred until May 2022. However national rules restricting the expansion of Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) still apply.
As part of the deferment, Minsters David Parker and Damien O’Connor have set expectations for measurable improvements in IWG practices over the next 12 months and have also set clear expectations that Councils will monitor the performance of these practices.
Horizons Regional Council Regulatory Manager, Greg Bevin says the main purpose of the flights is to establish a baseline of the nature and scale of IWG occurring in the Rangitīkei river catchment, and to get a better understanding on  what management practices are being used to minimise adverse effects on the environment,” says Mr Bevin.
“During this process we will be identifying where IWG is occurring and then undertaking on-ground visits. The purpose of these visits is primarily to meet with farmers/landowners and discuss IWG practices, and if required provide advice on IWG practice.
“The primary focus of this programme of work is to educate and engage with the sector. However, in the event serious issues are identified compliance action will be considered.”
Once all IWG regulations come into force from 1 May 2022, farmers who are unable to meet the permitted activity standards will have the option of applying for a consent through Horizons or completing the MfE IWG farm plan module.
If you would like more information on Intensive Winter Grazing and other measures put in place to protect our freshwater visit
Anyone seeing pollution of a waterway is encouraged to call our pollution hotline 0508 800 800.