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Some of the regulations designed to improve water quality will cost farmers, industry and the council a significant expense and have no effect whatsoever in a region with the cleanest rivers in the country, the council believes.
Staff hosted senior Government officials on the Coast for two days, in a bid to make clear the issues posed by the Essential Freshwater policy, planning and science manager Hadley Mills told the council meeting this week.
Despite that, four key parts of the final package remained especially problematic.
Two involved wetlands; one was the compulsory replanting of cropped and grazed areas by October 1 every year; and one involved stock exclusion on big river-run farms.
The freshwater standard allowed sphagnum moss harvesting in wetlands, and generally followed the rules set in the West Coast land and water plan, Mr Mills said.
But while the regional plan allowed the refuelling of brush cutters and other machinery from a 20 litre fuel can on site, the Government's new rule did not.
"The environmental effects caused by having to move machinery in and out (to refuel) are likely to be greater than if the machinery can be refuelled within the wetland," Mr Mills reported.
Making farmers replant land used for intensive winter grazing by October 1 every year was another rule that would not work on the West Coast.
"Pasture growing conditions in October are much slower (than in northern regions) ...wet spring conditions also make getting machinery onto paddocks for resowing, difficult and potentially damaging to soil structure."
The council should ask the Government to extend the replanting date to November 1, as it had done for Otago and Southland, Mr Mills recommended. The stock exclusion regulations were also a concern.
Between now and July 2025, all cattle, deer and pigs must be kept out of rivers over 1m wide, with a 3m setback for fences.
"There are a large number of river run type farms, mostly in South Westland where compliance will be very difficult if not impossible."
The farms operated at low stocking rates, on a mix of private and public leasehold land in valleys with very wide river beds and highly variable flows.
"Water quality in these areas is typically very high and low stocking rate farming has been operating for generations with negligible impact."
The council agreed to raise the four problem rules with the Government — but added a fifth at the request of councillor and dairy farmer, Debra Magner.
The new requirement for landholders to install telemetry and report their water takes constantly to the council was a waste of time and resources, she said.
Speaking after the meeting, Cr Magner said she and many Coast farmers would be hard-pressed to comply.
"We have three bores and no cellphone reception. But we are somehow supposed to get telemetry systems installed and report our water take every 15 minutes, to the council."
Getting a satellite phone connection might be an option, but it was hard to see any point in the exercise, she said.
"We get 4m of rainfall a year, for goodness sake. This is absolutely stupid."
Lois Williams - Local democracy reporter