New water quality regulations may become operative on May 1
if they get the Otago Regional Council's seal of approval at
a meeting today.
The council will consider the amendments made to its 6A water
plan change (water quality) through Environment Court
If the council approves the regulations, they will receive
the council's seal and be publicly notified on April 19 and
operative on May 1, nearly five years after planning and
A report to the council said while amendments to the plan had
been negotiated, its basic principles - an effects-based
approach to managing discharges to water with a focus on
controlling contaminant discharges rather than the land use
activities that created them - remained unchanged.
Some amendments were as simple as changing terminology such
as standards now being called limits and targets in schedule
15 and discharge limits now being permitted activity
discharge thresholds in schedule 16.
Others were more general, including Ngai Tahu values being
included throughout and recognition of the coastal marine
area where relevant.
Some of the rules had been expanded to include how the
compliance system would work and when compliance would be
triggered and the actions the council would take when water
quality failed to meet limits and targets in schedule 15.
Another change was the Overseer (a nutrient management tool)
leaching rate for the Queenstown-Lakes nitrogen-sensitive
zone being lifted from 10kg of nitrogen per ha per year to
There was also recognition of the differences in land use
with outdoor pork, fruit (excluding grapes), berry and
rotational vegetable farmers excluded from providing Overseer
data to the council until April 2020.