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Published: 2007-04-27 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is sending farmers a quick reference guide to six of the permitted activities in its Regional Plan.

The guide has been mailed to about 9500 farmers around the region and should have hit letterboxes this week.

“Waikato farmers benefit from one of the most permissive regional plans in the country, because we’ve designated many farm activities as ‘permitted’. But many farmers don’t realise there are conditions they must comply with when carrying out permitted activities,” Environment Waikato chairman Jenni Vernon said.

“Although it is the responsibility of farmers to make sure they know how the Regional Plan rules affect their farming activities, we want to make it as easy as possible. That’s why we’ve put together this guide,” said Cr Vernon.

The Farmer’s Guide to Permitted Activities focuses on the farming activities most likely to have adverse affects on water quality – farm dairy effluent, stock in water bodies, fertiliser and agrichemicals, bridges, culverts and earthworks and vegetation clearance.

The guide covers the key conditions farmers must comply with when carrying out these activities and tells them where to look for more detail.

Waikato Federated Farmers president Peter Buckley was impressed with the simplicity of the guide.

“The guide is very user-friendly, and although simple it’s precise. I hope farmers will use it to familiarise themselves with the rules and urge them to contact Environment Waikato if they’re in any doubt about how the rules apply to their farm situation,” he said.

A second guide is currently being written, covering:

  • dams
  • domestic sewage
  • drain construction
  • dumps, composting, offal holes and burning
  • indoor farming
  • lines, cables, pipelines, ropeways and associated structures
  • planting and layering near water
  • removal or demolition of structures
  • planting and layering near water
  • removal or demolition of structures
  • sand and gravel extraction.

Together the two guides cover the permitted activities most farmers in the region carry out.

If you want to find out what rules and conditions are attached to activities you carry out on your farm, would like a copy of the first Farmer’s Guide to Permitted Activities, or would like to order a copy of the second guide, please call Environment Waikato’s resource use freephone, 0800 800 402.