Hort NZ calls for RMA changes

Horticulture New Zealand is calling on the government to ensure changes to the Resource Management Act do not put domestic fruit and vegetable production at risk.

Chief executive Nadine Tunley said the organisation, which represents the interests of about 4200 commercial fruit and vegetable growers, wants a range of amendments to proposed reforms, including recognition of the national importance of protecting highly productive land for primary production and enabling the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Horticulture New Zealand wrote to ministers highlighting the need for changes including permitted activity for discharges from commercial vegetable production, managed with a certified freshwater farm plan.

The government had signalled it would change the Act to make it easier to build houses, she said.

"We accept that people need houses, but they also need to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. If the government makes building houses easier, then it also needs to make changes to the RMA to enable the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables."