Environment Canterbury’s Plan Change 7

Environment Canterbury has notified Plan Change 7 to the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (CLWRP) for public submissions.  Submissions (formal comments/feedback) will be received until 5pm on 13 September 2019.  Read more at https://ecan.govt.nz/get-involved/news-and-events/2019/plan-change-7-and-plan-change-2-what-you-need-to-know/


PC7 is split into three parts (Parts A,B and C).


Part A is an ‘Omnibus’ change proposing amendments to region-wide provisions (policies, rules, maps and schedules).


Part A aims to:

  • Improve freshwater outcomes for Canterbury
  • Protect habitats of indigenous freshwater species
  • Enable consideration of Ngāi Tahu values in relation to a broader range of activities
  • Provide the use of managed aquifer recharge across the region
  • Establish a new nutrients framework for commercial vegetable growing operations
  • Implement recommendations from the Hinds Drains Working Party


Parts B and C of PC7 relate to the Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora (OTOP) and Waimakariri sub-regions respectively.


Environment Canterbury’s Plan Change 5

Farmers with irrigated land and dryland in Canterbury need to be aware of what their obligations may be in relation to Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) Plan Change 5, which became operative earlier this year.  Farmers who do not require a consent to farm, should register as a Permitted Activity in ECan’s Farm Portal. https://farmportal.ecan.govt.nz/login.


Those farmers that do require a land use consent to farm, need to apply for this as soon as possible.  If you need assistance in determining whether you require a consent or not, or if you are having issues applying for a consent, then please contact Environment Canterbury directly and they will point you in the right direction.  You can also visit https://www.canterburywater.farm/ for more information.


Environment Canterbury is wanting all farmers to be implementing Good Management Practices (GMP).  Find out more at https://www.canterburywater.farm/gmp


Reminder for farmers – Overseer update is coming (via Environment Canterbury)

From the end of June 2019, OverseerFM software will replace the legacy version of Overseer.  This means Overseer nutrient budgets previously submitted as XML files under 6.2.2 or earlier, will not be compatible with the new software.  Information saved in the legacy version of Overseer will not automatically carry over to OverseerFM.


Farmers with Overseer requirements will need to register for an OverseerFM account and make sure their files are in the correct format in advance of the software transition.


Read more at https://ecan.govt.nz/get-involved/news-and-events/2019/reminder-for-farmers-overseer-update-is-coming/

Help Enlisted to Find Source of Phosphate (via Rural Life)

A project involving the North Otago Sustainable Land Management (NOSLaM) group and hydrologists from the University of Otago due to kick off next month, will hopefully provide answers to Waiareka Creek catchment’s increasing phosphate levels, which in turn may help meet water quality regulations.


NOSLaM met with farmers, landowners and stakeholders in the catchment earlier this month to provide information around the work that will be carried out and also to ask for their support and cooperation.  NOSLaM Chair, Peter Mitchell, at the meeting advised that water sampling will be carried out at 70 sites and soil sampling at 19 sites.


According to Dr Sarah Mager, Otago University’s geography department hydrologist, the project, funded by North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC), ‘will evaluate whether organic or inorganic phosphorus deposits in the riverbed and banks are potential sources of phosphorus in the waterways’.


NOSLaM Steering Committee member, Lyndon Strang, said “If the area’s natural phosphorus levels were found to be high, NOSLaM could take findings to the Otago Regional Council and make a case for adjusting permitted levels under the new water quality standards.”


Read more at https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/rural-life-other/help-enlisted-find-source-phosphate?fbclid=IwAR08-89WTx4fOmcEwkl6S0XKq3LBLuqsndJrmRDTd40vD–F1Q2Vz6xai78

ORC Welcomes Community-led Involvement in Setting Water Policies (via ORC Public Notice)

On 7th March 2019, ORC issued a Public Notice advising that “Water is a top priority for the Otago Regional Council (ORC), our iwi partners and our communities” and that “increasingly our waterways face multiple demands for recreation, water supply, irrigation and for ecosystem health.”


The notice goes on to explain that “the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) recognises that the management of freshwater needs to be done at a more local level that reflects Te Mana o te Wai (the integrated and holistic wellbeing of the water) and local catchment values and needs.”


ORC sees this move towards community value and objective setting for waterways as positive.  A Water Plan review by ORC, aims to align how water is managed in Otago with the NPSFM.


Read more at https://orc.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-media-releases/2019/march/orc-welcomes-community-led-involvement-in-setting-water-policies


IrrigationNZ Welcomes New Chief Executive (via IrrigationNZ)

IrrigationNZ issued a media release on 19th December 2018, advising of Elizabeth Soal’s appointment as their new Chief Executive.


In the release, Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ (INZ) Board Chair, explains that “IrrigationNZ has recently adopted a new strategy which focuses on creating an environment for the responsible use of water for food production.  As part of the strategy we will be focusing on advocacy, encouraging innovation through sharing ideas and adopting new technology, developing a robust information base, bringing the irrigation sector, researchers and decision makers together to make better decisions for our future and creating world-leading irrigation standards.”


Nicky believes that Elizabeth has a “strong background in water management, law and policy and she will help contribute to all these goals but that she is particularly well qualified to contribute to national discussions” as INZ “seeks to achieve solutions to complex issues around water allocation which results in good outcomes for both communities and the environment.”


Read more at https://www.irrigationnz.co.nz/News/Story?Action=View&Story_id=86

Waitaki Irrigators Collective Leader Takes up New Role

It was with sadness coloured by a large dose of pride that Waitaki Irrigators Collective (WIC) recently announced the resignation of their Director of Strategy and Policy, Elizabeth Soal, to take up the role of Chief Executive Irrigation NZ.


“Although we are disappointed to lose such a talented person”, explained WIC Chair Fraser McKenzie, “we are very pleased that Elizabeth is staying within the irrigation community and will continue to live in North Otago.  She has made an enormous contribution to the success of WIC during her tenure and her performance has been endorsed by her selection for this new role at a national level.”


Elizabeth joined WIC in February 2011 and under her direction steered the organisation through several major achievements including the successful conclusion to the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Plan under Plan Change 3; and the negotiation of a Waitaki River flow regime management plan with Meridian and irrigators.


WIC represents an innovative way for irrigators, both individual and scheme members, to work together for the express purpose of furthering positive outcomes for the Waitaki River in a collaborative, proactive and cohesive way.  For example, WIC aims to facilitate the delivery of projects that will improve water-related outcomes across areas such as biodiversity, water quality and cultural values through its newly formed off-shoot organisation, Waitaki Water.


WIC is governed by a Board of Directors, with each shareholder represented by one Director and independent directors appointed as deemed appropriate, including current independent Chair Fraser McKenzie.


The board regularly reviews the performance of the collective to ensure the shareholders receive clear benefits from their membership and will use the resignation of Elizabeth as an opportunity to ensure the strategy and organisation remains ‘fit for purpose’.  In the interim Robyn Wells, current Chief Executive of North Otago Irrigation Company, is assisting in an Acting Director of Strategy and Policy role.


For further information, please contact:

Robyn Wells, Acting Director of Strategy and Policy, Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited

027 603 0661

Fraser McKenzie, Chair, Waitaki Irrigators Collective Limited

027 228 5636