[13 August/Stuff]

Waikato Regional Council said a Forest & Bird report that criticised its dairy farming effluent compliance was outdated, inaccurate and misleading. Forest and Bird rated councils for their performances and gave Waikato Regional Council an F for failing to prosecute anyone. Forest & Bird Spokesperson, Caitlin Carew, said it was an unfair for the council to disagree with the report after researchers requested information. The data given to Forest & Bird was incomplete according to the council, and there were more than 180 enforcement actions. The Council’s Resource Use Director, Chris McLay, said while nobody wanted to be rated poorly, he was confident they were doing a good job. The council was adopting a more risk-based monitoring programme that combined one-on-one site visits of high risk farms with aerial inspections in June. It found three quarters of New Zealand’s dairy farms were in eight regions that did not monitor all of their farms. Around 5,000 farms were not monitored for dairy effluent compliance.