2008-12-05

Media Release - Federated Farmers Media Release "One Plan - Plan Chapter disappointment'

One Plan – Land Chapter disappointment

Federated Farmers told the One Plan hearing panel in Palmerston North today that farmers had been hopeful, but were disappointed with Horizons’ unwillingness to comprise on the Land Chapter of the plan.

“New land rules have the potential to impact massively on hill country farming, for good and for bad,” said Ruapehu president Lyn Neeson.

“Landowners are proactive resource managers who rely solely on their properties natural and physical resources for their farming business. It is entirely in their best interest and that of the region to manage their land sustainably.”

The initial hearing for the Land Chapter, which covers Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI), erosion, farm tracks and scrub clearing, was in July 2008 but was reconvened after the hearing panel found that Horizon’s needed to do further consultation with those affected.

“Federated Farmers supports the goal of reducing soil erosion. We have suggested a number of further compromises to the proposed rules. These have been ignored,” Lyn said.

Federated Farmers is concerned that a consent based system will be very costly and is not the best way to achieve the goal. The compliance costs for getting resource consent or determining whether one is required are likely to be significant. The great uncertainty these rules will create is likely to result in people doing nothing for fear of the consequences.

She says Horizons' One Plan has the potential to set a precedent throughout New Zealand with new principles and new policies.

Federated Farmers is concerned that unrealistic restrictions on farming activities proposed in the One Plan will threaten the economic viability of farming.

“For farmers to support One Plan the regional council needs to balance environmental enhancement with economics. A balanced win/win situation is sought,” Lyn concluded.

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