National Environment Standard Freshwater
The NES-FW outlines national rules that apply to farming activities, wetlands, reclamation of rivers and activities that can affect fish passage. The overall NES-FW came into effect on 03 September 2020 but the rules contained within it will come into effect over a period of time over the coming months and years.
Several new rules within the NES-FW came into force on 3 September 2020. These standards apply to:
- Agricultural intensification
- Protection of natural wetlands
- Fish passages
- River reclamation
The following activities have rules commencing at later dates:
- Intensive winter grazing – rule effective from 01 May 2021
- Stockholding areas (other than feedlots) – rule effective from 01 July 2021
- Application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer – rule effective from 01 July 2021
Some activities that were permitted before the NES-FW came into force will now require a resource consent. As a first step you should read the rules in the NES-FW to determine whether the activity you are carrying out will remain a permitted activity, or will now require a resource consent.
If as a result of the rules in the NES-FW coming into force the activity you were carrying out now requires a resource consent, you may continue carrying out that activity provided:
- the activity was lawfully established; and
- the activity could have occurred without consent before the rule in the NES-FW came into force; and
- the effects of the activity are the same or similar in character, intensity and scale of effects to those that existed before the rule took legal effect; and
- you apply for a resource consent for the activity once the rule comes into force and by the following dates:
- 2 March 2021 – for all activities other than intensive winter grazing, applications of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, and feedlots.
- 31 October 2021 – for intensive winter grazing activities.
- 31 December 2021 – for applications of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and stockholding areas other than feedlots.
If you have further questions, please contact our consents team on 0508 800 118. We may not be able to answer all questions immediately, however we will let you know when the information becomes available or redirect you if necessary.