Focus on water use tweaking

Questions on the new freshwater regulations and what "tweaks" will be made to them have been asked by a Southland councillor.

After a meeting earlier in the month between Environment Southland (ES), ministers David Parker and Damien O’Connor and farming leaders, ES chairman Nicol Horrell provided an update to council yesterday about the progress.

During an ES full council meeting yesterday, councillor Peter McDonald asked chairman Horrell what changes could be made to the regulations.

In particular, he asked about "tweaks" to rules about winter grazing and what they meant.

The response was that changes, such as particulars around pugging, were being made.

"It’s more about making some of those rules more user friendly. We’ve got regional issues, sowing dates and things like that which can be changed I think, without changing the intent."

An advisory group was created to help Southland farmers with implementing the regulations.

When it was created, chairman Horrell said it would focus on providing recommendations on fine-tuning the regulations on intensive winter grazing, as well as looking at Farm Environment Plans.

A hui last month was attended by farming industry leaders, Regional Council staff and Government officials.

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