Water

Kaikoura farmers face radical changes

[12 October/ Farmers Weekly] Project Manager and Environment Canterbury Land Adviser Jodie Hoggard said areas of the Kaikoura Plains were so wet that the council and industry groups such as DairyNZ and Fonterra were looking to Southland and Waikato for advice. Farmers reported some bores have dried while other areas were now suitable for wetlands....

Study finds small stream challenges

[12 October/ Farmers Weekly] Underwater quality standards streams not wider than a stride are not required to be fenced. Over three-quarters of the nutrient load in waterways comes from those exempted from fencing requirements. However, the wider than a stride, deeper than a Redband standard may be insufficient if the rural sector was to continue...

Rivers need to be protected for all, says ecologist

[8 October/ New Zealand Herald] Massey University Freshwater Ecologist Dr Mike Joy noted Water Conservation Orders (WCO) are a good idea, especially for the Hawkes Bay. 15 New Zealand rivers currently have WCOs placed on them, and applications are in progress for an additional three including for the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers. Dr Joy said...

Denitrification wall could be answer to nitrate problems

[4 October/ Stuff] A proposed nitrate wall implemented into Silverstream Reserve near Kaiapoi to lower the steam’s high nitrate levels may improve the safety of freshwater and groundwater resources and potentially provide means for farming within water quality limits. The Institute of Environmental and Scientific Research planned to evaluate whether the wall, successfully used with...

Unfenced streams major source of water contamination

[5 October/ Radio New Zealand] New research by AgResearch Invermay’s Environment Group reveals smaller streams account for the majority of contamination in waterways. The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, discovered that streams less than 1 metre wide and 30cm deep in flat catchments dominated by pasture accounted for, on average, 77 percent...

Council ‘won’t stand still’ on water quality

 [25 September/ Stuff] Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) Chairman David MacLeod says the council won’t wait for the national debate on water quality to settle down before taking further action. Chairman David MacLeod said the Riparian Management Scheme was New Zealand’s largest streambank fencing and planting programme and was producing dividends for Taranaki in improving trends...

Accord Fund opens for water projects

[18 September/ NZ Herald] Applications for the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord community grants programme have opened. The grants aimed to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups and schools with projects that would help increase engagement with Manawatu waterways and improve water quality in the catchment. Previous applications had received funding to complete stream fencing,...

Irrigation could pump millions into Northland – study

[7 September/ Rural News Group] A new study suggests major irrigation projects in Kaipara and the mid-north of Northland could create hundreds of jobs and boost the regional economy by tens of millions annually. The $300,000 study, Scoping of Irrigation Scheme Options in Northland, was jointly paid for by the regional council and central government....

New water battle looming in Hawke’s Bay in wake of the failed Ruataniwha Dam plan

[7 September/ Stuff] A new dispute over water in Hawke’s Bay has erupted with conservationists and recreational boat users opposing orchardists and irrigators in the Ngaruroro River catchment. Opponents to a Water Conservation Order application on the catchment are organising a protest rally on September 19. In December 2015 five parties applied for a water...

Protesters arrested for occupying irrigation dam

 [7 September/ Radio NZ] Nine Greenpeace protesters have been arrested for trespassing at an irrigation dam west of Christchurch after an eight-hour standoff. The protesters set up a makeshift camp inside the dam, which has yet to be filled with water. Greenpeace wanted to raise awareness of a widespread public opposition to irrigation schemes on...

Fert co-op backs farmer water group

[5 September/ Rural News Group] Ravensdown Chair John Henderson has strongly supported The Farming Leaders’ Pledge, a pledge by New Zealand farming leaders to help make New Zealand rivers swimmable for future generations. The pledge was signed by NZ pastoral farming leaders representing at least 80 percent of farmed land. Mr Henderson said Ravensdown does...

Green Party unveils plan for healthy rivers

[2 September/ NZ Herald] The Green Party has announced its plan for healthy rivers and sustainable dairying. This plan involves putting a nitrate pollution levy on dairy farmers to pay for the clean-up of New Zealand rivers. The levy is expected to raise $136.5 million in the first year, and this will be invested in...

Women oppose water policy

[1 September/ Otago Daily Times] A group of Maniototo women are preparing to campaign against Labour’s water policy, as they believe a royalty on irrigation water would be the theft of a fair return on decades of farmer investment. The group, Water Maniototo, released a video portraying a “positive image” of Maniototo farming and showing...

End on the cards for Ruataniwha Dam

[28 August/Hawkes Bay Today] The transformational potential of Ruataniwha water storage scheme is looking like it may be shelved as the Hawkes Bay Regional Council moves to focus on other priorities. The Council is due to consider a paper that suggests it and the Hawkes Bay Regional Investment Company needs to focus their energy on...

O’Connor defends proposed water tax

[29 August/Dairy News] Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson, Damien O’Connor, says that the agriculture sector has its head in the sand if it doesn’t realise that water is a huge issue it needs to tackle. He suggests that if organisations like Horticulture NZ and Irrigation NZ are smart they will show leadership and work with a...

Farmers pledge to improve NZ’s waterways

[22 August/Hawkes Bay Today] A unique collaboration of pastoral sector leaders came together in the Hawkes Bay to make a commitment to work together towards making New Zealand’s rivers swimmable for future generations. The Farming Leaders Group which includes Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ is said to represent 80% of the country’s pastoral...

Majority of NZers support charging for water – survey

[16 August/Radio New Zealand Country] An online survey run by Water New Zealand and attracting 5,000 respondents suggests that 77% of people believe that agriculture and horticulture should be charged for water. The survey found that 89% of people believed that water bottlers should pay a charge for water while 59% believe all water users...

Taxing farmers ‘into oblivion’ will only set the environment back, says Stephen Joyce

[13 August/Stuff News] Discussing Labour’s proposal to introduce a new water tax, Finance Minister Stephen Joyce said on TVNZ’s Q&A programme that he could see water quality going backwards under Labour’s plans as farmers would be too broke to invest in the environment. Labour’s royalty fee on water bottlers and farmers using irrigation water will...

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern wants royalty on commercial freshwater use to help clean up rivers

[9 August/ NZ Herald] Jacinda Ardern is promising farmers that a Labour Party proposal to charge for freshwater will be fair and allow them to keep making a profit. Ms Ardern said Labour would charge an unspecified royalty for commercial water and use the money to clean up rivers, lakes and streams. Ms Ardern added...

Farmer hits out at both National and Labour water policies as bad for farming

[10 August/ Stuff] Canterbury Farmer John Ridgen said National’s water policy is as much of a threat to his business as Labour’s and would be lost without use of water from the Central Plains Water (CPW) scheme. Mr Ridgen said if water charges or other constraints became too onerous, he would have to convert to...

We’ll be back’: Greenpeace protest sets Central Plains irrigation scheme back a day

[2 August/ NZ Herald] Greenpeace activists spent a day chained to machinery and locked inside pipes at the Central Plains Water Irrigation scheme construction site near Hororata. The activists’ protests are based on their beliefs that the irrigation scheme will cause more cows and greater pollution of rivers and drinking water. Central Plains Water Scheme...

Jon Morgan: All is not lost for Ruataniwha Dam

[17 July/ Opinion Piece- Stuff] NZ Farmer Editor Jon Morgan believes it is encouraging that the Government thinks the law around land swaps, such as the swap of DOC Ruahine Forest Park land for farmland to pave the way for the Ruataniwha Dam, should be clarified. Mr Morgan said the dam’s future is in the...

Government may change law after court rules against DOC land-swap

[6 July/ Stuff] The Government is prepared to change the law to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that conservation land cannot be taken by developers. In a 3-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled the Director-General of Conservation was not entitled to revoke the special conservation status of a section of Ruahine Forest Park reserved for...

Labour confirms it will charge farmers for irrigation water

[26 June/ Stuff: NZ Farmer] At last week’s Federated Farmers conference, Andrew Little was applauded from his apparent change in stance around Labour’s policy to charge farmers a resource rental on water used for irrigation.  Mr Little was congratulated on abandoning the idea and Mr Little appear to confirm this was the case, stating that...