Dairying and other pastoral farming activities are an important contributor to the economy and community on the West Coast. The Council is responsible for regulating a number of environmental activities which may occur in relation to farming such as water use and waterway modification, discharges to land, water and land development.
As well as meeting Council requirements, farmers are encouraged to follow industry good practices and strive to meet industry environmental targets set for farms.
Some activities on farm can be undertaken as permitted activities, meaning they do not need a resource consent provided they meet certain criteria, while others may require a resource consent. Council also runs a pro-active monitoring programme for dairy farms in the region.
The majority of rules relevant to dairy farming are found in the Regional Land and Water Plan, although some of our other plans may be relevant (i.e. if on coastal margins or involving discharges to air). The types of on farm activities that may require resource consent include:
- Discharge of dairy effluent;
- Water takes and any direct discharges to water;
- River or coastal protection works, or modification of any waterway or riparian margin;
- Land development such as flipping and humping and hollowing;
- Stock waterway crossings and access to riparian margins.
Other common farming activities can generally be undertaken without consent, providing permitted activity criteria are met. These include things like the application of fertiliser and approved agri-chemicals, and the diffuse application to land of dairy effluent (outside of the Lake Brunner catchment). Some of the activities listed above can also be undertaken in some areas without a consent depending on the scale. Note that the rules in the Lake Brunner catchment vary from the rest of the region.
If you are planning to undertake an activity on farm, or are doing so already, and are not sure whether a consent is needed, or what the permitted activity criteria are, please contact our Consents team for advice.
Monitoring and Compliance
Our dairy monitoring program includes annual visits to those dairy farms with consents for effluent discharge, and at least every 2nd year for those operating under permitted activity rules for dairy effluent. While dairy effluent is one focus of the monitoring visits, a number of other activities on farm are reviewed. The visit is also an opportunity for the farmer to seek advice or clarification on environmental regulatory matters from the dairy compliance officer. Where non-compliances are identified, more frequent visits may be needed.
Compliance officers also respond to farming related complaints and self-reported environmental incidents on farms.
For any questions about regulatory matters relating to farming of any type, please contact our Compliance Team.
The farming industry provides many tools and guidelines which help with good on farm practices and systems to achieve good environmental outcomes. In many cases, implementing industry good practice will help you meet permitted activity requirements, or provide material needed for obtaining resource consents.
Good Management Practices https://www.dairynz.co.nz/media/4106341/Good_management_practices_April_2016.pdf
Beef & Lamb https://beeflambnz.com/compliance/environment