Horizons Regional Council takes step forward in intensive land use regulation

At their full council meeting today, Horizons Regional Councillors recommended the notification of Proposed Plan Change 2 (PPC2) to address current issues within the One Plan’s nutrient management policy and rule framework.

The proposed plan change seeks to provide a workable framework for intensive land use – allowing a pathway for existing farmers and growers in target catchments to apply for resource consent, and for the Council to see greater progress towards environmental improvement.
The proposed plan change is focused on existing intensive farming land uses and includes the recalibration of Table 14.2 Cumulative Nitrogen Leaching Maximums (CNLM) with the most up to date version of Overseer.
Horizons chair Bruce Gordon says that while Proposed Plan Change 2 is a tightly scoped change to fix a nutrient management implementation issue, it is a great step forward.
“However, we cannot have our science, knowledge and practice frozen in time,” says Cr Gordon.
“Farmers and growers continue to be regulated under the One Plan. This change provides a pathway for farmers applying for a consent outside of Table 14.2 – either through demonstrating their proposed nutrient reductions and mitigations, including using Good Management Practice and innovation, or through detailing their transition plan out of intensive land use over the short term.
“These changes will provide our officers better mechanisms for assessing applications, however it does not guarantee a consent will be granted in every case.
“Proposed Plan Change 2 is the first of a number of plan changes and will be complemented by catchment reviews, which involve our communities in planning for our freshwater management in our region.
Notification of the Proposed Plan Change 2 will commence on 22 July 2019, and will be followed by an extended consultation period of 60 working days. Once submissions have closed, hearings will be held in 2020.