[24 March/The Country]

Federated Farmers are seeking $100,000 to fight a plan intended to improve water quality in Lake Rotorua. The plan would introduce rules for rural properties to limit the amount of nitrogen entering the lake. Nitrogen entering the lake would need to be reduced by 320 tonnes by 2032, of which only around 140 tonnes would come from the proposed rules. The plan had been under mediation after four appeals were lodged. Federated Farmers was behind one of the appeals and said they would need to contract in expertise to develop their alternative plan. Former Regional Federated Farmers President, Neil Heather, said they were waiting for a pre-hearing conference and were impressed with the community support and generosity. Mr Heather said it was frustrating that farmers effectively were asked to pay for this hearing through rates and funding Federated Farmers participation.