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Rules

The rules referred to below are referred to in the What does it mean for me? tool. For a full set of rules associated with the proposed plan change please see the full copy of the Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1.

3.11.5.1   3.11.5.2    3.11.5.3    3.11.5.4    3.11.5.5    3.11.5.7   

3.11.5.1 Permitted Activity Rule - Small and low intensity farming activities

Resource consent is not required

The use of land for farming activities (excluding commercial vegetable production) and the associated diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbial pathogens onto or into land in circumstances which may result in those contaminants entering water is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions: 

1)The property is registered with the Waikato Regional Council in conformance with Schedule A; and

2)Cattle, horses, deer and pigs are excluded from water bodies in conformance with Schedule C; and
Either:

3)The property area is less than or equal to 4.1 hectares; and

4)The farming activities do not form part of an enterprise being undertaken on more than one property; or

Where the property area is greater than 4.1 hectares:
5)For grazed land, the stocking rate of the land is less than 6 stock units per hectare; and

6)No arable cropping occurs; and

7)The farming activities do not form part of an enterprise being undertaken on more than one property.

3.11.5.2Permitted Activity Rule – Other farming activities

Resource consent is not required

The use of land for farming activities (excluding commercial vegetable production) and the associated diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbial pathogens onto or into land in circumstances which may result in those contaminants entering water where the property area is greater than 4.1 hectares, and has more than 6 stock units per hectare or is used for arable cropping, is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions: 

1)The property is registered with the Waikato Regional Council in conformance with Schedule A; and

2)Cattle, horses, deer and pigs are excluded from water bodies in conformance with Schedule C and Conditions 3(e) and 4(e) of this Rule; and

3)Where the property area is less than or equal to 20 ha:
 a)The farming activities do not form part of an enterprise being undertaken on more than one property; and
 b)Where the land is: 
(i)used for grazing livestock, the stocking rate of the land is no greater than the stocking rate of the land at [the date of notification]; or
(ii)not used for grazing livestock, the land use has the same or lower diffuse discharges of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment or microbial pathogens as the land use at [the date of notification]; and
c)Upon request, the landowner shall obtain and provide to the Council independent verification from a Certified Farm Environment Planner that the use of land is compliant with either b)(i) or b)(ii) above; and 
d)Upon request from the Council, a description of the current land use activities shall be provided to the Council; and
e)Where the property or enterprise contains any of the water bodies listed in Schedule C, new fences installed after [the date of notification] must be located to ensure cattle, horses, deer and pigs cannot be within three metres of the bed of the water body (excluding constructed wetlands and drains).

4)
Where the property or enterprise area is greater than 20 hectares:
a)
A Nitrogen Reference Point is produced for the property or enterprise in conformance with Schedule B; and
b)
The diffuse discharge of nitrogen from the property or enterprise does not exceed either:
(i)
the Nitrogen Reference Point; or (ii)15kg nitrogen/hectare/year; whichever is the lesser, over the whole property or enterprise when assessed in accordance with Schedule B; and
c)No part of the property or enterprise over 15 degrees slope is cultivated or grazed; and
d)No winter forage crops are grazed in situ; and
e)Where the property or enterprise contains any of the water bodies listed in Schedule C:
(i)There shall be no cultivation within 5 metres of the bed of the water body; and 
(ii)New fences installed after [the date of notification] must be located to ensure cattle, horses, deer and pigs cannot be within three metres of the bed of the water body (excluding constructed wetlands and drains); and

5)For all properties greater than 4.1 hectares, from 30 November 2020, in addition to the requirements of Schedule A, the following information must be provided to the Waikato Regional Council by 1 September each year:
a)
Annual stock numbers; and
b)
Annual fertiliser use; and
c)
Annual brought in animal feed.

3.11.5.3 Permitted Activity Rule – Farming activities with a Farm Environment Plan under a Certified Industry Scheme

Resource consent is not required


Except as provided for in Rule 3.11.5.1 and Rule 3.11.5.2 the use of land for farming activities (excluding commercial vegetable production) where the land use is registered to a Certified Industry Scheme, and the associated diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbial pathogens onto or into land in circumstances which may result in those contaminants entering water is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

1)The property is registered with the Waikato Regional Council in conformance with Schedule A; and

2)A Nitrogen Reference Point is produced for the property or enterprise in conformance with Schedule B; and

3)Cattle, horses, deer and pigs are excluded from water bodies in conformance with Schedule C; and

4)The Certified Industry Scheme meets the criteria set out in Schedule 2 and has been approved by the Chief Executive Officer of Waikato Regional Council; and

5)A Farm Environment Plan which has been prepared in accordance with Schedule 1 and has been approved by a Certified Farm Environment Planner, is provided to the Waikato Regional Council as follows:
a)By 1 March 2022 for properties or enterprises within Priority 1 sub-catchments listed in Table 11-2, and properties or enterprises with a Nitrogen Reference Point greater than 75th percentile nitrogen leaching value;
b)By 1 March 2025 for properties or enterprises within Priority 2 sub-catchments listed in Table 11-2;
c)By 1 July 2026 for properties or enterprises within Priority 3 sub-catchments listed in Table 11-2; and

6)The use of land shall be undertaken in accordance with the actions and timeframes specified in the Farm Environment Plan; and

7)The Farm Environment Plan provided under Condition 5 may be amended in accordance with the procedure set out in Schedule 1 and the use of land shall thereafter be undertaken in accordance with the amended plan; and

8)A copy of the Farm Environment Plan amended in accordance with condition (7) shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council within 30 working days of the date of its amendment.

3.11.5.4 Controlled Activity Rule –Farming activities with a Farm Environment Plan not under a Certified Industry Scheme

Except as provided for in Rule 3.11.5.1 and Rule 3.11.5.2 the use of land for farming activities (excluding commercial vegetable production) where that land use is not registered to a Certified Industry Scheme, and the associated diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbial pathogens onto or into land in circumstances which may result in those contaminants entering water is a permitted activity until:
1)1 September 2021 for properties or enterprises in Priority 1 sub-catchments listed in Table 11-2, and properties or enterprises with a Nitrogen Reference Point greater than the 75th percentile nitrogen leaching value; 

2)1 September 2024 for properties or enterprises in Priority 2 sub-catchments listed in Table 11-2;

3)1 January 2026 for properties or enterprises in Priority 3 sub-catchments listed in Table 11-2;

Subject to the following conditions:

4)The property is registered with the Waikato Regional Council in conformance with Schedule A; and

5)A Nitrogen Reference Point is produced for the property or enterprise in conformance with Schedule B; and

After the dates set out in 1), 2) and 3) above the use of land shall be a controlled activity (requiring resource consent), subject to the following standards and terms: 
a.A Farm Environment Plan has been prepared in conformance with Schedule 1 and has been approved by a Certified Farm Environment Planner, and is provided to the Waikato Regional Council  at the time the resource consent application is lodged by the dates specified in I-III below; and
b.The property is registered with the Waikato Regional Council in conformance with Schedule A; and
c.A Nitrogen Reference Point is produced for the property or enterprise in conformance with Schedule B and is provided to the Waikato Regional Council at the time the resource consent application is lodged; and
d.Cattle, horses, deer and pigs are excluded from water bodies in conformance with Schedule C.

Matters of Control 
Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:
i.The content of the Farm Environment Plan.
ii.The actions and timeframes for undertaking mitigation actions that maintain or reduce the diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment or microbial pathogens to water or to land where they may enter water.
iii.The actions, timeframes and other measures to ensure that the diffuse discharge of nitrogen from the property or enterprise, as measured by the five-year rolling average annual nitrogen loss as determined by the use of the current version of OVERSEER®, does not increase beyond the property or enterprise’s Nitrogen Reference Point, unless other suitable mitigations are specified.
iv.Where the Nitrogen Reference Point exceeds the 75th percentile nitrogen leaching value, actions, timeframes and other measures to ensure the diffuse discharge of nitrogen is reduced so that it does not exceed the 75th percentile nitrogen leaching value by 1 March 2022.
v.The term of the resource consent.
vi.The monitoring, record keeping, reporting and information provision requirements for the holder of the resource consent to demonstrate and/or monitor compliance with the Farm Environment Plan.
vii.The timeframe and circumstances under which the consent conditions may be reviewed or the farm plan shall be amended.
viii.Procedures for reviewing, amending and re-certifying the farm plan.

Dates:
I.For Priority 1 sub-catchments, and properties with a Nitrogen Reference Point of greater than 75th percentile nitrogen leaching value, by 1 March 2022
II.For Priority 2 sub-catchments, by 1 March 2025
III.For Priority 3 sub-catchments, by 1 July 2026

Notification:
Consent applications will be considered without notification, and without the need to obtain written approval of affected persons. 

3.11.5.5 Controlled Activity Rule – Existing commercial vegetable production

Resource consent is required

The use of land for commercial vegetable production and the associated diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbial pathogens onto or into land in circumstances which may result in those contaminants entering water, is a permitted activity until 1 September 2021, from which date it shall be a controlled activity (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

a.
The property is registered with the Waikato Regional Council in conformance with Schedule A; and
b.
A Nitrogen Reference Point is produced for the property or enterprise in conformance with Schedule B and provided to the Waikato Regional Council at the time the resource consent application is lodged; and
c.
Cattle, horses, deer and pigs are excluded from water bodies in conformance with Schedule C; and
d.
The land use is registered to a Certified Industry Scheme; and
e.
The areas of land, and their locations broken down by sub-catchments [refer to Table 11-2], that were used for commercial vegetable production within the property or enterprise each year in the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2016, together with the maximum area of land used for commercial vegetable production within that period, shall be provided to the Council; and
f.
The total area of land for which consent is sought for commercial vegetable production must not exceed the maximum land area of the property or enterprise that was used for commercial vegetable production during the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2016; and
g.
Where new land is proposed to be used for commercial vegetable production, an equivalent area of land must be removed from commercial vegetable production in order to comply with standard and term f.; and
h.
A Farm Environment Plan for the property or enterprise prepared in conformance with Schedule 1 and approved by a Certified Farm Environment Planner is provided to the Waikato Regional Council at the time the resource consent application is lodged.

Matters of Control 
Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:
i.The content of the Farm Environment Plan.
ii.The maximum area of land to be use for commercial vegetable production. 
iii.The actions and timeframes for undertaking mitigation actions that maintain or reduce the diffuse discharge of nitrogen, phosphorus or sediment to water or to land where those contaminants may enter water, including provisions to manage the effects of land being retired from commercial vegetable production and provisions to achieve Policy 3(d).
iv.The actions and timeframes to ensure that the diffuse discharge of nitrogen does not increase beyond the Nitrogen Reference Point for the land. 
v.The term of the resource consent.
vi.The monitoring, record keeping, reporting and information provision requirements for the holder of the resource consent to demonstrate and/or monitor compliance with the Farm Environment Plan.
vii.The time frame and circumstances under which the consent conditions may be reviewed.
viii.Procedures for reviewing, amending and re-certifying the Farm Environment Plan.

Notification:
Consent applications will be considered without notification, and without the need to obtain written approval of affected persons.

Advisory note:
Under section 20A(2) of the RMA a consent must be applied for within 6 months of 1 September 2021, namely by 1 March 2022.

3.11.5.7 Non complying activity rule – Land Use Change

Notwithstanding any other rule in this Plan, any of the following changes in the use of land from that which was occurring at [the date of notification] within a property or enterprise located in the Waikato and Waipa catchments, where prior to 1 July 2026 the change exceeds a total of 4.1 hectares:

1.
Woody vegetation to farming activities; or

2.Any livestock grazing other than dairy farming to dairy farming; or

3.Arable cropping to dairy farming; or 

4.Any land use to commercial vegetable production except as provided for under standard and term g. of Rule 3.11.5.5.Is a non-complying activity (requiring resource consent) until 1 July 2026. 

Notification:
Consent applications will be considered without notification, and without the need to obtain written approval of affected persons, subject to the Council being satisfied that the loss of contaminants from the proposed land use will be lower than that from the existing land use.