[6 May/NZ Herald]

Environment Minister, David Parker, introduced new measures that could bring a stop to further dairy farming intensification. The new plan is intended to reduce farming intensity which the Minister blamed for driving pollution in rural waterways. He added that although cow numbers had already peaked and were going down, in some areas the number of cows was higher than the environment could sustain. The proposal will be based on nutrient limits rather than a cap on cow numbers. He noted one possible solution could be a shift toward more cropping and horticulture. Mr Parker added people could expect big changes next year to the Resource Management Act as it tackled the issues of councils taking too long to change a plan, and that there wasn’t enough national guidance on areas that should be standardised across the country. A more comprehensive longer term review of the resource management system would be considered next year.