Empowering Farmer Compliance

Taranaki Good Farm Guide to Navigating Regulations

Reference Guide & Webinars

good farm planning hub
Complete the form below to access the Taranaki Good Farm Guide to Navigating Regulations reference guide & webinars.

Once you submit the form, you will have access to both the guide download, and the links to reserve your spot at the webinars – or watch recordings of the live webinars.

Thank you for requesting access to the reference guide & webinars.

The extension of the Empowering Farmer Compliance work to the Taranaki region has been funded by Taranaki Catchment Communities through the Good Farm Planning Hub. The Good Farm Planning Hub has funded two sets of resources: The Good Farm Guide and the Good Farm Webinars to Navigating Regulations

IMPORTANT: Make sure you save the PDF document to a safe location to access at a later date.

Taranaki Webinars

Freshwater Part 1

Tuesday 7 May, 12.15-1.00pm

Introduction to the freshwater legislative landscape, freshwater farm plan and critical source area regulations

Freshwater Part 2

Tuesday 14 May, 12.15-1.00pm

Introduction to effluent, stock exclusion and works around waterways regulations.

(We strongly recommend you watch Freshwater Part 1 before viewing)

Animal welfare & people

Tues 21 May, 12.15-1.00pm

FAQs

The Freshwater Farm Plan (FWFP) regulations require that farms submit a FWFP to a certifier within 18 months of the regulations taking effect in their area. This is the requirement as laid  out in the Resource Management (Freshwater Farm Plan) Regulations. Currently, these regulations have gone live in five regions (Waikato, Southland, Otago, West Coast and Manawatū/Whanganui). The date when the regulations take effect in the remaining regions is yet to be announced.

On 10 April 2024, however, Government signalled in a press release the intent to make the FWFP process more cost-effective and practical for farmers. This has created uncertainty for farmers and regional councils looking to implement the FWFP roll-out. The Regional Council in Otago and the West Coast have since paused their regional training for certifiers until further clarity from Government is received. All other live regions are continuing with training. While we await further announcements from Government, it does appear likely that timeframes will be extended and changes to the FWFP process made.

While we are awaiting this clarity, what does appear clear is that Government are still in favour of a farm planning process that details how risks to freshwater will be managed from a farming business. We recommend that farmers wanting to make a start on freshwater planning focus on two areas; updating farm maps and identifying areas on their farm where they could improve outcomes for freshwater (e.g., critical source areas).

Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research are currently halfway through a three-year work program to increase the coverage of S-map in Taranaki. Last year, the lower Waitara, Manganui and Waingongoro catchments were mapped along with a small wedge of the upper Pātea around Stratford. You can view these in S-map now.

For this year, the focus is on mapping the rest of the Waitara (mostly hill country). Fieldwork has  been completed and a map release is planned for August. The next focus is on mapping the southern and western ringplain from the Waingongoro catchment right around to the Hangatahua (Stony) River, and this is planned to be released in August 2025.

There is also other mapping taking place for around Kaponga/Makaka and east of Eltham. This involves taking mapping from a legacy database and transferring it into S-map. Part of this has been completed already in last year’s work program, while the remaining western portion will be completed next year.

In the meantime, alternative places where you can go to find soil data include:

Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) has begun development of the CCCV and related mapping resource. It is TRC’s intention to establish a farmer test group to provide feedback on CCCV useability and format. All work on the CCCV, including the establishment of a test group is, however, currently on hold pending further direction from the Government on their approach to Freshwater Farm Plans.

The Taranaki Regional Council website is also in the process of being updated with the latest information on Freshwater Farm Plans

While we are still in the early stages of the FWFP roll-out and awaiting further Government direction on the process, it is unclear how this situation will be approached. However, based on the current regulation, if a situation was to arise where the farmer is unable to complete a committed action in their certified FWFP, the farmer could request re-certification of the plan with the action either changed or delayed for a period of time.

Alternatively, if the farmer decided not to re-certify their plan, and an action was not completed  in the specified timeframe then this would likely be reflected in a lower audit grade and potential infringement fee. Audit grades range from A-D. ‘D’ grades are given when actions required by regulation have not been implemented, or when actions related to the catchment or chosen by the farmer as supplementary have not been implemented on a subsequent audit visit. Lower audit grades will result in more frequent auditing.

Where actions require significant expenditure, we recommend you set completion dates that allow for unforeseen events.

The current legislation requires farmers to select their own certifier and auditor and engage and pay their services.

Certifiers and auditors must go through specific training programs to be appointed as a Freshwater Farm Plan certifier or auditor.

The certifier’s role is to check that the FWFP that has been developed is fit-for-purpose. This will likely be carried out by rural professionals (e.g., farm advisors, industry representatives including fertiliser, milk and meat company reps) who have completed the training, and who have at least three years’ experience in a related field or hold a qualification in natural resource management or farm system management.

The auditor’s role is to check that the farmer is implementing the actions they had put in their action plan. Along with completing specific training, auditors must be a member of a professional audit body or have at least three years’ auditing experience in a related field. Current farm auditors, such as QCONZ, would likely take on this role, but anyone who meets the criteria could become an auditor.

 

 

 

 

LiDAR mapping has been completed for the Taranaki region and individualised farm maps showing slope and flow paths within a farm property are available. Contact your local catchment co-ordinator or email [email protected] to get a map for your farm and training on how to use it. Taranaki Catchment Communities are offering training on the mapping to catchment groups at present.

The Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Regulations 2020 require that cattle or pigs crossing a lake or wide river (where the bed of the river is wider than one metre – see diagram on page 1.110 of the Good Farm Guide to Navigating Regulations in Taranaki) must use a dedicated bridge or culvert unless:

  • The stock are supervised and actively driven across; and
  • do not cross the same lake or wide river more than twice in any month.
    (note, if stock have to cross a lake/wide river to get into a paddock and again to come back out this is counted as two crossings, and therefore this practice can only occur once in a month without a dedicated bridge or culvert crossing).

Compliance with this rule is not required if the wide river has a highly mobile bed and it is therefore too difficult to install a dedicated bridge or culvert. In this instance, the stock must still be supervised and actively driven across. Note, there would be very few instances in Taranaki where this exception would come into play. If you think you have a river with a highly mobile bed where stock cross, it is recommended you contact Taranaki Regional Council for confirmation.

The definition of a water body in the Resource Management Act is:

fresh or geothermal water in a river, lake, stream, pond, wetland or aquifer, or any part thereof, that is not located within the coastal marine area.”

The definition of a river in the Resource Management Act is:

A continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal).”

These definitions are also provided in the Good Farm Guide to Navigating Regulations for Taranaki (available at the top of this webpage).

It is important to identify whether your drain is in fact a farm drain or a modified watercourse as this impacts on which regulations apply. The national water body regulations (including stock exclusion and installing structures in waterways) apply to modified watercourses, but do not apply to farm drains.

If your ‘farm drain’ sits on the natural watercourse alignment or has a natural channel at its headwaters then it is likely the ‘drain’ is actually a modified watercourse. If you are unsure whether you have a farm drain or a modified watercourse, check with your Taranaki Regional Council Land Management Officer.

Have you registered for the webinars?

Thanks for downloading the Taranaki Good Farm Guide to Navigating Regulations: Reference Guide. The next step is to register for the three webinars.

Lee Matheson

Managing Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Lee came to agribusiness consultancy via the unlikely pathway of a suburban Wellington upbringing, an Honours degree in plant science and a six-year career in the financial markets. In his role as the firm’s MD, Lee doesn’t get out on-farm as much as he used to but makes the most of it when he does. While having swapped the paddock for the boardroom, Lee continues to provide advice in the areas of farm business strategy, farm system innovation, corporate governance, investment analysis and economic research.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Lee loves to spend his time coaching rugby, watching his three kids play sport and gardening with his wife Haidee.

“I love the challenge of empowering people in our primary sectors and the excitement of seeing clients achieving their aspirations. If we can encourage farmers to engage with their consumers, take a more active involvement in their supply chains and view their businesses through a wider lens, then I think our industries have a great future.”

Michael Booth

Senior Consultant

B.Com Af (FM)

Mike brings a wealth of agri-tech and dairy systems expertise to Perrin Ag. After graduating with a Bachelor of AgriCommerce from Massey, he started his career with DairyNZ as a consulting officer where he ran discussion groups and managed farm supervision.

He left DairyNZ to travel the world but within a few months Covid hit, the borders closed, and Mike and his wife Nikita returned home. Back in New Zealand, he took up a role managing DairyNZ’s monitor farms on the Hauraki Plains before joining Halter.

After finishing his OE, he returned home to live in Papamoa and joined the Perrin Ag team in February 2024.

“I’m not someone who likes to sit still and I like to be continually learning. I saw an opportunity with Perrin Ag. As a business their ethos is about continuous improvement and learning. There are always new and better ways of doing things and we need to be at the forefront of that for our clients.”

Abbey Dowd

Consultant

B.Ag.Sc (Hons), MNZIPIM

Abbey joined Perrin Ag in February 2023 as part of the firm’s graduate recruitment programme, Empower.

Abbey grew up surrounded by dairy farms in a close-knit community in South Waikato. She saw first-hand how local farmers supported her community, which is what inspired her to study at Lincoln University.

Growing up in a rural community Abbey has always been impressed by how much local farmers contribute to the community. She wanted to help give back to the industry and play a part in helping our primary sector continue to produce quality food in a sustainable way.

In 2022, Abbey spent the summer as an intern on one of New Zealand’s first commercial deer milking operations. Her Honours project was researching deer milk alongside other more traditional milking operations and assessing the deer milking industry’s future production possibilities.

“Growing up I didn’t live on a farm, but I always knew I wanted to work in the farming sector. I wanted a role where there was a balance between working on and off farm and where I could support farmers to get the best out of their businesses.”

Sam Gray

Consultant

Sam grew up on a dairy farm in the Far North. After graduating from the University of Otago in 2005 with an Honours degree in molecular biotechnology, he spent several years working in medical research in New Zealand and Scotland. Upon returning to New Zealand in 2012, he spent four seasons dairy farming in Northland before purchasing a 56 ha block in Taupо̄, where he was first exposed to farming under a nitrogen cap. Sam joined Perrin Ag in 2023 and brings his strong analytical skills that are grounded by a pragmatic approach to problem solving. Outside of farming and consultancy, you’ll likely find him fly fishing, hunting or snowboarding.

“A lot of farmers feel overwhelmed in the face of a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. I strive to help farmers understand what these environmental regulations mean for their business, and offer practical solutions that allow them to keep doing what they do best, whilst remaining compliant”.

Danni Armstrong

Finance administrator

Danni grew up on a life style block in Atiamuri and spent five seasons as a relief milker in the area. During this time, her full time roles were in various fields including the rental car, health care and marine industries. Danni has had a focus on administrative and accounting duties, but is also proficient in looking after customers especially well, social media and website operation, running a rental car fleet and the associated tasks like training, rosters, H&S and organising repairs! Danni joined Perrin Ag in May 2021, to be part of a business in an industry she is passionate about.

During her spare time Danni can be found reading a book with her cats or out enjoying the walks in Rotorua’s Redwoods.

“What motivates me each day is knowing that I will be challenged with a range of problem solving tasks. I love to see all the figures adding up and knowing that my role makes a difference to the team.”

Duncan Walker

Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc, MNZIPIM (Reg)

Coming from a drystock and dairy farming background, Duncan has always been passionate about growing primary sector businesses. Whether it’s pastoral farming, forestry, horticulture or investments outside the farm gate, sustainably optimising business performance is Duncan’s passion. After graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness, Duncan’s first opportunity to optimise a farm business was by undertaking a dairy conversion. Duncan project managed the conversion and continued to run the dairy farm for a further three years.

Since joining Perrin Ag in 2011 Duncan works with a wide range of clients including those ‘outside the farm gate’. With his strong background in investment analysis, business strategy and project management, Duncan is increasingly working with clients to analyse and integrate horticulture and forestry investments into their farm businesses.

“I enjoy helping clients navigate through the complexities of today’s operational, financial and environmental challenges. Seeing clients achieve their goals is very rewarding”

Lee Matheson

Managing Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Lee came to agribusiness consultancy via the unlikely pathway of a suburban Wellington upbringing, an Honours degree in plant science and a six-year career in the financial markets. In his role as the firm’s MD, Lee doesn’t get out on-farm as much as he used to but makes the most of it when he does. While having swapped the paddock for the boardroom, Lee continues to provide advice in the areas of farm business strategy, farm system innovation, corporate governance, investment analysis and economic research.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Lee loves to spend his time coaching rugby, watching his three kids play sport and gardening with his wife Haidee.

“I love the challenge of empowering people in our primary sectors and the excitement of seeing clients achieving their aspirations.  If we can encourage farmers to engage with their consumers, take a more active involvement in their supply chains and view their businesses through a wider lens, then I think our industries have a great future.”