Press Release – Federated Farmers
13 March 2013 Water reforms wet the lips of Federated Farmers The Governments policy response to the Land & Water Forum (LAWF) has received the enthusiastic backing of Federated Farmers. This is a positive Government endorsement of the …
13 March 2013
Water reforms wet the lips of Federated Farmers
The Government’s policy response to the Land & Water Forum (LAWF) has received the enthusiastic backing of Federated Farmers.
“This is a positive Government endorsement of the monumental multi-stakeholder effort which went into LAWF,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers environment spokesperson.
“Government has picked up on and set a pathway for delivering ‘Planning as a Community,’ ‘National Objectives Framework’ and ‘Managing within limits.’
“What we have are positive, pragmatic and prioritised pathways reflective of the recent RMA discussion document. Government is not expecting communities to solve everything yesterday, but will instead help communities to build solutions from the ground up.
“One of the big things to emerge from LAWF was the importance of good science and good information to inform constructive collaborative governance. That is important because water is an area of policy beset by emotion and a lot of politics
“Collaborative governance was one of the key LAWF recommendations and the Government has effectively endorsed that by including collaborative governance in its own policy proposals.
“This is positive not just for better community outcomes, but enduring community outcomes.
“This potentially moves us to a system based upon community collaboration and away from drawn-out processes that are expensive as they are litigious. The emphasis upon communities is vital because water is not a Wellington issue but is very much a local one.
“This is why we need to be absolutely clear on the values we are managing waterways for.
“The development of the National Objectives Framework is fundamental because it helps to define water policy objectives set under the National Policy Statement on freshwater.
“Frameworks and community collaboration provide clear but useful guidance for councils on process, management frameworks and limits. It should give those councils moving to set limits now, solid reasons to reassess what they are doing and how they are engaging with their communities.
“Proposed reform also puts Good Management Practice, or GMP, right at the heart of improved economic and environmental gains.
“GMP is about getting nutrient management right along with water use efficiency. The importance of GMP is well explained in the proposed reform and is given a lot of support. That gets a big tick from Federated Farmers.
“We do have some issues, like the use of ‘challenges’ instead of ‘opportunities,’ because that is what reform is all about. It is an opportunity to positively redefine our entire conversation about water,” Mr Mackenzie concluded.