Local Government New Zealand welcomes the leadership shown by a Southland group, comprising farmers, environmental NGOs, farming industry bodies and the regional council, who are working together to recommend new ways of making the intensive winter grazing regulations more practical and implementable.
Formed at a meeting in September (2020) with Minister for the Environment David Parker and Minister of Agriculture Damian O’Connor, the Southland Advisory Group was invited to look at the intensive winter grazing regulations and provide advice on how they could be implemented.
LGNZ President Stuart Crosby praised the leadership of the group, saying it shows the results of discussions focused on the practicality of the regulations – from the point of view of the farmer and also the regional council.
“We’re really pleased to see co-operation between such a wide array of organisations,” said LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.
“At the end of the day we all want to improve the quality of our freshwater. The Southland Advisory Group has not only produced good advice for the Ministers to assist with that, but they’ve shown how this model is a good way to work through implementation issues.”
LGNZ Regional Sector Doug Leeder said that it was pleasing to see all the organisations work through the detail to find tangible ways to improve winter grazing practices.
“Policy is always better when it’s made with practical solutions in mind, with input from those on the ground,” said Mr Leeder.
“To have farmers, Fish and Game, primary sector organisations, and the regional council sit down and find real ways to work out how implementation can work is great.
“I am advised by my Southland colleagues that the policy intent remains the same – the aim is to get swift improvement in water quality, and these recommendations will assist this to happen,” concluded Mr Leeder.