Southland Federated Farmers vice president Bernadette Hunt says she finds it “interesting” that Environment Minister David Parker continues to downplay the feedback on the Government’s freshwater regulations.
The farmer lobby says the unworkable regulations that have become law, but have not yet even come into force, have already seen Southland farmers threaten to ignore the new requirement to get resource consents for using an animal feeding technique called winter grazing.
"This was going to be entirely unworkable for Southland farmers, and many others around the country during cold, wet winters," says Feds’ water spokesperson Chris Allen.
"This should be the start of many more changes to these regulations."
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor told The Country radio show today changes will be made on this issue and "there will be others [rules] that will need to be adjusted as we move forward".
Federated Farmers said he implied the changes had been discussed and agreed to in Cabinet yesterday.
"The statement that we all want to leave the land and water better than when we found it is not lost on Federated Farmers and its members. It’s the mantra we all live by," says Allen.
"Our concerns are not just over one single aspect of the direction or trajectory of the new regulations, but the fact that the new direction is complicated, not clear, and poorly defined."
"As drafted many farmers will end up being unable to comply, an outcome we are sure is not the government’s intent."