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What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinJanine Holland email Janine.Holland@ecan.govt.nz

Looking for Drop in Sessions?

Drop in Sessions

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Ashburton is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

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NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

Letters Sent to Farmers

View letters sent to Hinds and rest of Ashburton properties about land use consents to farm.

Hinds letter 2017

Ashburton letter 2017

hinds letter 2018

You will need a consent if your farm is not covered by Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation or Rangitata Diversion Race consent, and if:

Hinds/Hekeao Plains Area Only

Larger than 5 ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 15 kg/ha/yr

Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment.

Ashburton other than Hinds/Hekeao Plains Area

Orange Zone:

Your farm’s nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and:

  • Your property is larger than 50ha; OR
  • Your nitrogen loss calculation has increased above your nitrogen baseline

Download your Orange Application Form and Planning Assessment


Red Zone

Your property is over 5ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr. An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

Hinds/Hekeao Plains Area Only

  • A Nitrogen Baseline

Ashburton other than Hinds/Hekeao Plains Area

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if you are >20 kg/ha/yr and
  • In the Orange Zone only, if you are proposing to increase nitrogen losses above your Nitrogen Baseline, a Nitrogen Loss Calculation for your proposed activity.

Key Dates

Hinds/Hekeao Plains Area Only

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner. Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order. Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will be required to get an audit of your Farm Environment Plan. You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here.

2025

Further Reductions

All farms (with losses over 20 kg/ha/yr) will need to make further reductions beyond what can be expected by implementing Good Management Practices on farm. Use your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets to help you plan those reductions.


Ashburton other than Hinds/Hekeao Plains Area

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner. Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order. Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will be required to get an audit of your Farm Environment Plan.

See the list of registered FEP auditors FEP AUDITORS

2020

Your farm should be operating at or below its Baseline GMP Loss Rate

This is the nitrogen loss rate if you were operating at good management practice in the baseline period (2009-2013). Click here to estimate what this might look like.

If you require a consent and you are in the orange zone or green and blue zone, apply for it now. If you require a consent and you are in the red zone, get your consent by July 2017

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river or drain where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent application?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river or drain over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland. Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

 

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers, drains and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a lake zone, any lake classified as a high naturalness waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, or canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

 

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)


Note: Within the Hinds zone, the bed of a lake, river or wetland also includes a drain, but does not include any sub-surface drain or drain that does not have water in it.

 

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

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Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

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See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

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There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

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As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

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Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

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Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

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If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

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Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your scheme

Acton Irrigation

Eva Harris

0275500129
eva@irrigo.co.nz

Greenstreet Irrigation

Eva Harris

0275500129
eva@irrigo.co.nz

MHV Water Ltd

Melanie Brooks

027 435 6882
mel@mhvwater.nz

Rangitata Diversion Race

Reuben Edkins

0274356257
Reuben@rdrml.co.nz

South Rakaia

Gary Rooney

036897881
g.rooney@xtra.co.nz

Barrhill Chertsey

Eva Harris

0275500129
eva@irrigo.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Janine Holland

Zone Manager
027 205 7128
janine.holland@ecan.govt.nz

Donna Field

Land Management & Biodiversity Advisor
021 914 828
donna.field@ecan.govt.nz

Sarah Heddell

Land Management & Biodiversity Advisor
027 406 3858
sarah.heddell@ecan.govt.nz

Nick Vernon

Resource Management Officer
027 406 7430
nick.vernon@ecan.govt.nz

Stephen Howard

Resource Management Officer
027 405 8472
stephen.howard@ecan.govt.nz

Terry Hewitt

Resource Management Officer
027 406 7429
terry.hewitt@ecan.govt.nz

Ryan Dynes

Central Area Supervisor, Field Services
027 435 1476
ryan.dynes@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinAndrew Arps email andrew.arps@ecan.govt.nz

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Kaikoura is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

keyboard_arrow_down

NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

Red Zone:

Your property is over 5ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr. An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment


Green and Light Blue Zone:

Your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and

  • Your property is larger than 50ha; AND

  • Your nitrogen loss calculation increased above your nitrogen baseline by more than 5kg/ha.

Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment

 

There is currently a proposed plan change to the Land and Water Regional Plan which could potentially change these requirements in the future.  

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if you are >20 kg/ha/yr and

  • In the Green and Light Blue Zone only, if you are proposing to increase more than 5kg/ha above your Nitrogen Baseline, a Nitrogen Loss Calculation for your proposed activity.

Key Dates

Now/2017

If you require a consent and you are in the green and light blue zone, apply for it now
If you require a consent and you are in the red zone, get your consent by July 2017

If you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

2017

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan. You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here.

2020

Your farm should be operating at or below its Baseline GMP Loss Rate

This is the nitrogen loss rate if you were operating at good management practice in the baseline period (2009-2013). Click here to estimate what this might look like.

Other rules on farm

keyboard_arrow_down

View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

keyboard_arrow_down

What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a Lake Zone, any lake classified as a High Naturalness Waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

keyboard_arrow_down

Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

keyboard_arrow_down

See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

keyboard_arrow_down

There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

keyboard_arrow_down

As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

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Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

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Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

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If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

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Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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Talk to your Zone

Kevin Heays

Zone Lead
027 646 2230
kevin.heays@ecan.govt.nz

Jessica Hill

Biodiversity Officer
027 520 9061
jessica.hill@ecan.govt.nz

Chloe Armour

Land Management Advisor
027 678 9772
chloe.armour@ecan.govt.nz

Robin Hubbard

Resource Management Officer
027 520 9018
robin.hubbard@ecan.govt.nz

Peter Taylor

Resource Management Officer
027 205 6593
peter.taylor@ecan.govt.nz

Andrew Arps

Zone Manager
027 554 4007
andrew.arps@ecan.govt.nz

Michael Bennett

Senior Land Management Advisor
027 505 7535
Michael.Bennett@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinAndrew Arps email andrew.arps@ecan.govt.nz

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Hurunui Waiau is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

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NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

Hurunui Waiau Area

Become part of a Collective or group with an environmental management strategy that is approved by ECan, or apply for a resource consent by 1 January 2017.

To find out if your property falls under this areas please  click here

Hurunui Zone Conway and Waipara Area

Orange Zone:

You increase above your Nitrogen Baseline, or if your property is larger than 50ha and your nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr.

Download your Orange Application Form and Planning Assessment


Red Zone:

Your property is larger than 5ha and your nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr.  An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment


Green and Blue Zone:

You increase by more than 5kg/ha above your Nitrogen Baseline and your property is larger than 50ha.

Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

Hurunui Waiau Area

  • A Nitrogen and Phosphorus long-term average discharge for the few years before the plan became operative (20 December 2013). If there is a lack of records to do this, we consider the year before the plan became operative as a sufficient indicator of a long-term average. This is best calculated using OVERSEER®.

Hurunui Zone Conway and Waipara Area

  • A Nitrogen Baseline and

A Nitrogen Loss Calculation, in the Orange Zone if you are proposing to increase above your Nitrogen Baseline, or in the Green and Light Blue Zone an increase that’s more than 5kg/ha over your Nitrogen Baseline; for your proposed activity.

Key Dates

Hurunui Waiau Area

Now

Join a Collective prior to 1 January 2017, or submit an application for resource consent by this date.

Contact the ECan Hurunui Zone Team to get information on the Collectives that are developing in your area. If applying for a consent, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Future

Farm Environment Plan Audit

You will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan at a frequency that will be specified in your consent or set down by your Collective.

You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors here FEP AUDITS

Hurunui Zone Conway and Waipara Area

Now

If you require a consent and you are in the green and light blue zone or orange zone, apply for it now
If you require a consent and you are in the red zone, get your consent by July 2017

If you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on the above website, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Future

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan. You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here.

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a Lake Zone, any lake classified as a High Naturalness Waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

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Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

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See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

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There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

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As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

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Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

keyboard_arrow_down

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

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Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier or Hurunui Waiau Collective to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, or if you are part of a Hurunui Waiau Collective with an approved Environment Management Strategy you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your collective

Amuri Irrigation Company

Alastair Rutherford

0214747407
alastair@amuriirrigation.co.nz

Balmoral Irrigation

Alastair Rutherford

0214747407
alastair@amuriirrigation.co.nz

Hurunui Water Project

Karen Renouf


admin@hurunuiwater.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Andrew Arps

Zone Manager
027 554 4007
andrew.arps@ecan.govt.nz

Jessica Hill

Biodiversity Officer
027 520 9061
jessica.hill@ecan.govt.nz

Michael Bennett

Land Management Advisor
027 505 7535
michael.bennett@ecan.govt.nz

Robin Hubbard

Resource Management Officer
027 520 9018
robin.hubbard@ecan.govt.nz

Peter Taylor

Resource Management Officer
027 205 6593
peter.taylor@ecan.govt.nz

Chloe Armour

Land Management Advisor
027 678 9772
Chloe.Armour@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinAndrew Arps email andrew.arps@ecan.govt.nz

Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme

Learn more about the Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme.

LEARN MORE

Looking for a Drop in Session?

Drop in Sessions

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Waimakariri is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

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NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

Letters Sent to Farmers

View letters sent to Waimakariri properties about land use consents to farm

 

Copy of Letter

If you are not covered by Waimakariri Irrigation Limited consent, you will need a consent if:

Orange Zone:

Your farm’s nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and:

  • Your property is larger than 50ha; OR

  • Your nitrogen loss calculation has increased above your nitrogen baseline

Download your Orange Application Form and Planning Assessment

Red Zone:

Your property is over 5ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr.  An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if you are more than 20 kg/ha/yr and

  • In the Orange Zone only, if you are proposing to increase nitrogen losses above your Nitrogen Baseline, a Nitrogen Loss Calculation for your proposed activity.

Key Dates

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan.  

You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here

2020

Your farm should be operating at or below its Baseline GMP Loss Rate

This is the nitrogen loss rate if you were operating at good management practice in the baseline period (2009-2013). Click here to estimate what this might look like.

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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Note: the Waimakariri Zone contains a smaller Waimakariri Catchment sub-area in which extra rules may apply, check here to see if you are within this zone.

What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • in Community drinking water protection zones
  • in waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • in the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

Additional conditions in specific Waimakariri River Plan Boundary

Access to the bed of a river by intensively farmed stock is prohibited.  Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

 

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent outside specific Waimakariri River Plan Boundary?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

 

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent inside specific Waimakariri catchment sub-area?


A consent is required for any access by other stock (not intensively farmed)which doesn't meet one or more of the below permitted conditions.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a lake zone, any lake classified as a high naturalness waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.
  • Must be no clearly visible abundant livestock faeces or accumulation of fine silt on the banks.

Additional conditions within specific Waimakariri River Plan Boundary

  • The activity must not cause the concentration of E. coli to exceed 550 E. coli per 100 millilitres outside the mixing zone.
  • Must be no clearly visible abundant livestock faeces or accumulation of fine silt on the banks.

 

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

 

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

 

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

keyboard_arrow_down

What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

keyboard_arrow_down

Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

keyboard_arrow_down

See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

keyboard_arrow_down

There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

keyboard_arrow_down

As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

keyboard_arrow_down

Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

keyboard_arrow_down

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

keyboard_arrow_down

A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

keyboard_arrow_down

Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

keyboard_arrow_down

Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

keyboard_arrow_down

Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your scheme

Loburn Irrigation

Chris Blair

033134333
cblair@ihug.co.nz

Waimakariri Irrigation Limited

Brent Walton

0220869986
brent.walton@wil.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Andrew Arps

Zone Manager
027 554 4007
andrew.arps@ecan.govt.nz

Anna Veltman

Land Management Advisor
027 549 7646
anna.veltman@ecan.govt.nz

Marco Cataloni

Zone Delivery Lead
027 241 7951
marco.cataloni@ecan.govt.nz

Jason Butt

Biodiversity Officer
027 541 2135
jason.butt@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

keyboard_arrow_down

Zone Manager

person_pinSteve Firth email Steve.Firth@ecan.govt.nz

Looking for a drop in session?

Drop in Sessions

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Christchurch/West Melton is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

keyboard_arrow_down

NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

Letters Sent to Farmers

View letters sent to Christchurch West Melton properties about land use consents to farm.

 

Copy of Letter

You will need a consent if:

Red Zone:

Your property is over 5ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr. An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment.


Green and Light Blue Zone:

Your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and

  • Your property is larger than 50ha; AND

Your nitrogen loss calculation increased above your nitrogen baseline by more than 5kg/ha.

Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment.

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if you are >20 kg/ha/yr and
  • In the Green and Light Blue Zone only, if you are proposing to increase more than 5kg/ha above your Nitrogen Baseline, a Nitrogen Loss Calculation for your proposed activity.

Key Dates

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan.  

You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here

Other rules on farm

keyboard_arrow_down

View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

keyboard_arrow_down

What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a Lake Zone, any lake classified as a High Naturalness Waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

keyboard_arrow_down

What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

keyboard_arrow_down

What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

keyboard_arrow_down

Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

keyboard_arrow_down

See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

keyboard_arrow_down

There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

keyboard_arrow_down

As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

keyboard_arrow_down

Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

keyboard_arrow_down

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

keyboard_arrow_down

A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

keyboard_arrow_down

Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

keyboard_arrow_down

Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

keyboard_arrow_down

Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

keyboard_arrow_down

Talk to your Zone

Steve Firth

Zone Manager
027 561 0581
Steve.Firth@ecan.govt.nz

Gillian Jenkins

Zone Lead
027 706 7254
gillian.jenkins@ecan.govt.nz

Shelley Washington

Land Management Advisor
027 294 5219
Shelley.Washington@ecan.govt.nz

Jenny Watters

Pollution Prevention Advisor
027 549 7723
Jenny.Watters@ecan.govt.nz

Nick Moody

Pollution Prevention Officer
027 538 6220
Nick.Moody@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

keyboard_arrow_down

Zone Manager

person_pinSteve Firth email steve.firth@ecan.govt.nz

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Banks Peninsula is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

keyboard_arrow_down

NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

You will need a consent if:

Red Zone:

Your property is over 5ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr.  An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment.

Green and Light Blue Zone:

Your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and

  • Your property is larger than 50ha; AND

  • Your nitrogen loss calculation increased above your nitrogen baseline by more than 5kg/ha.

Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment.

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if you are >20 kg/ha/yr and

  • In the Green and Light Blue Zone only, if you are proposing to increase more than 5kg/ha above your Nitrogen Baseline, a Nitrogen Loss Calculation for your proposed activity.

Key Dates

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan.  You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here.

2020

Your farm should be operating at or below its Baseline GMP Loss Rate

This is the nitrogen loss rate if you were operating at good management practice in the baseline period (2009-2013). Click here to estimate what this might look like.

Other rules on farm

keyboard_arrow_down

View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

keyboard_arrow_down

Note: Different rules apply if you are located within the Wairewa Valley Floor, if you are in this area, please see below.

What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent application?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any waterway over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland. Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

 

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers, drains and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a lake zone, any lake classified as a high naturalness waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

 

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

 

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Prior to 1st January 2020 - Wairewa Valley Floor (in the beds, banks, and riparian margins of the Ōkana, Ōkuti and Takiritawai Rivers and their tributaries and Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth)

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What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped (link to maps):

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any waterway over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland. Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

 

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

 

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers, drains and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:
 

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a lake zone, any lake classified as a high naturalness waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

 

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

From 1st January 2020 - Wairewa Valley Floor (in the beds, banks, and riparian margins of the Ōkana, Ōkuti and Takiritawai Rivers and their tributaries and Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth)

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What’s prohibited?

  • All stock access to the bedor banks of any lake or river. 
  • Additionally, unless specified as permitted below, apart from sheep all stock access to the, to the riparian margin of any lake or river.

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent application?

  • Unless specified as permitted below, a consent is required for any access by sheep to the riparian margin of any lake or river.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Stock access to riparian margins on the landward side of fencing is permitted if:

  • A permanent barrier, including fencing, which is 2 metres or more from the bed of a lake or river was constructed before 20th April 2016.
  • The barrier is maintained so that no stock other than sheep pass through it.

Access to riparian margins by sheep is permitted if:

  • Permanent post and wire fencing was established prior to 20th April 2016.
  • Fencing is maintained.
  • No evident damage occurs to riparian planting and the riparian margin on the river side of the fence.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or

10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

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Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

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See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

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There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

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As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

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Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

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Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

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If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

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Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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Talk to your Zone

Steve Firth

Zone Manager
027 561 0581
steve.firth@ecan.govt.nz

Duncan Harvest

Resource Management Officer
027 294 5074
duncan.harvest@ecan.govt.nz

Gillian Jenkins

Zone Lead
027 706 7254
gillian.jenkins@ecan.govt.nz

Shelley Washington

Land Management Advisor
027 294 5219
shelley.washington@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinChris House email chris.house@ecan.govt.nz

Looking for a drop in session?

 DROP IN SESSIONS

  

Interested in attending a Mahinga Kai shed forum?

Mahinga Kai shed talk is designed to explain what Mahinga Kai means and what actions on farms look like to support and enhance the Mahinga Kai values that ultimately help you with your Farm Environment Plans.

SHED TALK

What's going on? Selwyn Waihora Seminars

Selwyn Te Waihora - Our Water Story outlines the work that has been done in the catchment since the Canterbury Water Management Strategy was introduced. To view seminar times go to the events page. To view or download the information booklet click the buttons below.

View online

Download 

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Selwyn Waihora is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

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NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Selwyn Te Waihora Farming Activities Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Map

Letters sent to Farmers

View the letters sent to Selwyn properties in February and May 2017 and in March 2018 about land use consents to farm.

February 2017 Letter

May 2017 LEtter

Phosphorous and Sediment Area 2018 Letter

Cultural River 2018 Letter 

Cultural Lake 2018 Letter

You will need a consent if your farm is not covered by Central Plains Water consent and:

Your farm is more, or less, than 10 hectares and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 15 kilograms/hectare/year; or

Your farm is 10 hectares or larger and any part of your property is within the Lake Area of the Cultural Landscape Values Management Area or the Phosphorus and Sediment Risk Area.

 

Download your Greater than 15 kilograms/hectare/year Application Form and Planning Assessment

Download your Less than 15 kilograms/hectare/year Application Form and Planning Assessment

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if your losses are more than 15 kilograms/hectare/year, or

  • A nutrient budget showing your proposed losses if your losses are less than 15 kilograms/hectare/year

Nutrient Budget Info

Key Dates

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in your consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan. 

You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here

2022

Further Reductions by 2022

All farms (with losses over 15 kg/ha/yr) in the Selwyn Te Waihora area will need to make further reductions beyond what can be expected by implementing Good Management Practices on the farm.  Use your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets to help you plan those reductions.

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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Download a pdf of this guide here 

In Selwyn Waihora, specific requirements are in place to address the area’s serious water quality issues and to protect the environment and cultural landscape.

This guide provides information about the stock access restrictions for waterbodies in the Selwyn Waihora Zone. These restrictions are in place specifically to address the health of Te Waihora and local rivers.

 

Where can I graze my stock?

Avoiding disturbance in waterways, including drains, is essential to improve water quality outcomes in the rivers and lakes.

What is specifically prohibited in the Selwyn Waihora zone?

Access by cattle, deer or pigs to:

  • The bed of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere or Muriwai/ Coopers Lagoon
  • The bed of any river/stream or drain in the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area
  • Any river/stream, drain (that contains water) or lake:
      • In a Salmon Spawning site, or Īnanga Spawning habitat;
      • Within a Community Drinking Water Protection Zone; or
      • 1000 metres, or closer, upstream of a Freshwater Bathing Site
  • Any other springfed plains stream.

 

When is stock access permitted?

Unless specifically prohibited (as above), stock access to rivers/streams, wetlands, drains (that contain water) and lakes is permitted provided it does not result in:

Within the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area:

  • Stock in the bed of any river, wetland and the bed of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere or Murawai/Coopers Lagoon.

 

Outside the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area:

  • Cattle in the bed of lakes Selfe, Evelyn, Henrietta, Georgina, Grassmere, Sarah, Pearson and Lyndon.
  • Dairy cattle (all ages dry or milking) or pigs in the bed of:
      • Any river/stream, drain (that contains water) or lake more than 1 metre wide or 10 centimetres deep; or
      • Any wetland.
  • Cattle or deer, being grazed on irrigated land or being break-fed on winter feed crops, in the bed of:
      • Any river/stream, drain (that contains water) or lake more than 1 metre wide or 10 centimetres deep; or
      • Any wetland.
  • In any other situation:
      • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or on banks; or
      • A change in clarity or colour of water downstream.

Please note there are further exceptions to these conditions for stock crossing points. Contact Customer Services for more information if you have a crossing point.

If these conditions cannot be met (and unless it is prohibited; as above), then you will need to apply for a resource consent.

 

What is the bed of a river?

The Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan defines the bed of river in most situations as the space of land extending between the outward extremities of any stop bank or any flood protection vegetation. Where these are not present, the bed is defined as the space of land which the waters of a river cover at its fullest flow without overtopping its banks.

However for the braided rivers listed below, the bed is land through to the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation, or where no flood protection vegetation exist, the lesser of:

  • the distance from the outer gravel margin to the land that was cultivated or was in crops or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10 metres from the outer gravel margin.

Braided rivers in the Selwyn Waihora Zone include the:

  • Selwyn River main stem, North Branch and Bush Stream
  • Waimakariri River main stem and a number of tributaries
  • Rakaia River main stem and a number of tributaries.

For further information on braided river tributaries in the Waimakairi and Rakaia river catchments please contact Customer Services.

To find the location of stop banks or flood protection vegetation, use the Canterbury Maps tool at the top of this webpage. Using the layers button on the Canterbury Maps tool, you can add the relevant layers and zoom in to see if they fall on your land.

 

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions, and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

What is the extent of the bed of a lake?

The Resource Management Act defines lake bed as:

  • In relation to any lake controlled by artificial means, the space of land which the waters of the lake cover at its maximum permitted operating level; or
  • In relation to any lake not controlled by artificial means, the space of land which the waters of the lake cover at its highest level without exceeding its margin.

Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is artificially managed but there is no maximum permitted operating level therefore it is not considered to be controlled by artificial means. Murawai Lagoon and lakes Selfe, Evelyn, Henrietta, Georgina, Grassmere, Sarah, Pearson and Lyndon are also not artificially controlled.

The extent of these lakebeds is therefore determined by their lake margins.

View a diagram showing typical vegetation around the lake margins of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere here.

 

What is defined as a drain?

A ‘drain’ for the purpose of the stock access rules in the Selwyn Te Waihora Catchment is any artificial watercourse that has been constructed for the purpose of land drainage of surface water. It does not include irrigation canals or stock water races.

 

What is the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area?

The Lake Area to the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area includes Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, Muriwai/Coopers Lagoon and their margins and wetlands. The River Zone encompasses 20 metres each side of 13 rivers that drain into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, excluding all tributaries which do not flow year round, and artificial watercourses (except in the Waikekewai catchment).

How do I find out the location of Salmon Spawning Sites, Īnanga Spawning Habitat, Community Drinking water Protection Zones and Freshwater Bathing Sites?

Use the Canterbury Maps tool at the top of this webpage. Using the layers button on the Canterbury Maps tool, you can add the relevant layers and zoom in to see if they fall on your land.

 

Need help?

Call Customer Services on 0800 324 636

  • for help with the Canterbury Maps tool.
  • for stock crossing point exception rules.
  • to apply for a resource consent if required.

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area
  •  

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located greater than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.
  • Any adverse effects on mahinga kai, wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga within the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary
  • No adverse effects on mahinga kai, wāhi tapu or wāhi toanga within Cultural Landscape Values Management Area (CLVMA)

Outdoor Burning

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Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

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See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

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There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

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As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

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Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

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Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

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If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

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Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your scheme

Central Plains Water

Fiona Crombie

027 2076499
fcrombie@cpwl.co.nz

Fereday Irrigation

Rowan McMath

021655547
feredays@farmside.co.nz

Lynton Irrigation

Brian Gallagher

0274502470
Brian@dairyholdings.co.nz

Northbank Irrigation

Gary McGregor

0274346558
Gary@dairyholdings.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Mananui Ramsden

Cultural Land Management Advisor - Kaitohutohu Tikanga Whenua
027 531 8842
mananui.ramsden@ecan.govt.nz

Sylvia McAslan

Land Management Advisor
0800 324 636
sylvia.mcaslan@ecan.govt.nz

Johannes Welsch

Zone Lead
0800 324 636
johannes.welsch@ecan.govt.nz

Stacey Looser

Resource Management Officer
027 571 3716
stacey.looser@ecan.govt.nz

Jana Hayes

Resource Management Officer
027 569 0067
jana.hayes@ecan.govt.nz

Trinity White

Resource Management Officer
027 578 0947
trinity.white@ecan.govt.nz

Nicci Delahunty

Land Management Advisor
0800 324 636
nicci.delahunty@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinChris Eccleston email chris.eccleston@ecan.govt.nz

Looking for a Drop in Session?

Let us know if you would like to drop in and talk to someone in person about the land use consents to farm requirements by contacting 0800 324 636.

Healthy Catchment Project

Learn more about the Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora Healthy Catchments Project.

Learn More

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Orari/Temuka/Opihi/Pareora is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

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NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

Letters Sent to Farmers

View letters sent to Orari/Temuka/Opihi/Pareora properties about land use consents to farm.

 

Copy of Letter

You will need a consent if the Scheme you receive water from does not have a consent with a nutrient discharge limit and if:

Orange Zone:

Your farm’s nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and:

  • Your property is larger than 50ha; OR

  • Your nitrogen loss calculation has increased above your nitrogen baseline

Download your Orange Application Form and Planning Assessment.

Red Zone:

Your property is over 5ha and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 20kg/ha/yr.  An increase above baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment.

Green and Blue Zone:

You increase by more than 5kg/ha above your Nitrogen Baseline and your property is larger than 50ha.

 Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment.

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline if you are more than 20 kg/ha/yr and

  • A Nitrogen Loss Calculation:  if you are in the Orange Zone and are proposing to increase nitrogen losses above your Nitrogen Baseline, or in the Green and Blue Zone and proposing to increase above your Nitrogen Baseline by more than 5kg/ha.

Key Dates

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan.

 You can find a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors by clicking here

2020

Your farm should be operating at or below its Baseline GMP Loss Rate

This is the nitrogen loss rate if you were operating at good management practice in the baseline period (2009-2013). Click here to estimate what this might look like.

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a Lake Zone, any lake classified as a High Naturalness Waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

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Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

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See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

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There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

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As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

keyboard_arrow_down

Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

keyboard_arrow_down

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

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Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your scheme

Kakahu Irrigation

Julia Crossman

021535174
Julia@opuha.co.nz

Levels Plains Irrigation

Julia Crossman

021535174
Julia@opuha.co.nz

Levels Plains Irrigation

Julia Crossman

021535174
Julia@opuha.co.nz

Opuha

Julia Crossman

021535174
Julia@opuha.co.nz

Totara

Julia Crossman

021535174
Julia@opuha.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Chris Eccleston

Zone Manager
027 562 2492
Chris.Eccleston@ecan.govt.nz

Robert Carson Isles

Biodiversity Officer
027 475 6287
robert.carson-isles@ecan.govt.nz

Rhys Taylor

Community Engagement Coordinator
021 462 260
rhys.taylor@ecan.govt.nz

David Mair

Resource Management Officer
027 606 6135
David.Mair@ecan.govt.nz

Helen Risk

Land Management and Biodiversity Advisor
027 540 7841
Helen.risk@ecan.govt.nz

Brian Reeves

Zone Delivery Lead
027 807 3284
Brian.Reeves@ecan.govt.nz

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinChris Eccleston email chris.eccleston@ecan.govt.nz

Updated Limits

The nitrogen limits in the South Coastal Canterbury Plan will be updated following OVERSEER version changes and will be published on this page.

Find updated limits here

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Lower Waitaki South Coastal is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

keyboard_arrow_down

NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

To find out which sub-area your property is within, check out these maps click here.

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

South Coastal Canterbury Streams
  • A Nitrogen Baseline and

  • A current nitrogen loss calculation.

Lower Waitaki excluding South Coastal Canterbury Streams
  • A Nitrogen Baseline and

  • A Nitrogen Loss Calculation, in the Orange Zone if you are proposing to increase above your Nitrogen Baseline, or in the Green and Light Blue Zone if you’re proposing an increase that’s more than 5kg/ha over your Nitrogen Baseline.

Key Dates

South Canterbury Coastal Streams

Now

Implement Good Management Practices

Your Primary Industry Sector has a set of agrees GMPs that can be used to improve water quality. Take a look at the GMP page.

Determine whether you need land use consent to farm

To work out whether you need consent, you can use NCheck or OVERSEER to determine what your nitrogen losses are.

Prepare a Farm Environment Plan

More information on Farm Environment Plans can be found here.

1 March 2018

Apply for land use consent to farm

If you have determined you need a land use consent to farm, prepare your application and apply by 1 March 2018.

 

Lower Waitaki Excluding South Canterbury Coastal Streams

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

If you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Keep up to date with the Waitaki Plan change process

Submissions on this plan change have now closed, and the hearing is expected to begin in August 2016. Check out the Environment Canterbury website to keep up with progress.

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river or drain where the following sites are mapped:

 

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent application?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river or drain over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland. Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access


Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers, drains and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a lake zone, any lake classified as a high naturalness waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

 

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)


Note: Within the South Coastal Canterbury zone, the bed of a lake, river or wetland also includes a drain, but does not include any sub-surface drain, stormwater swale, other artificial watercourse or ephemeral waterway.

 

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

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What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

keyboard_arrow_down

Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

keyboard_arrow_down

See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

keyboard_arrow_down

There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

keyboard_arrow_down

As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

keyboard_arrow_down

Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

keyboard_arrow_down

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

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Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

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A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

keyboard_arrow_down

Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

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Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

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Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

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You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your scheme

Hunter Downs

Gail Thompson


info@hdi.co.nz

Lower Waitaki Irrigation

Elizabeth Soal

021454615
elizabeth@waitakiirrigators.co.nz

Morven Glenavy Ikawai

Judith Neilson

0275223354
judith@mgiirrigation.co.nz

North Otago Irrigation

Dylan Robertson

021486253
drobertson@noic.co.nz

Waihao Downs Irrigation

Judith Neilson

0275223354
judith@mgiirrigation.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Chris Eccleston

Zone Manager
027 562 2492
chris.eccleston@ecan.govt.nz

Kennedy Lange

Biodiversity Officer
03 687 7800
kennedy.lange@ecan.govt.nz

Jenna Hughes-Games

Land Management Advisor
027 705 1276
jenna.hughes-games@ecan.govt.nz

Rhys Taylor

Community Engagement Coordinator
021 462 260
rhys.taylor@ecan.govt.nz

Nic Froude

Resource Management Officer
027 525 2213
Nic.Froude@ecan.govt.nz

Brian Reeves

Zone Delivery Lead
Brian.Reeves@ecan.govt.nz
027 807 3284

What’s happening in your zone?

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Zone Manager

person_pinChris Eccelston email chris.eccelston@ecan.govt.nz

Committee

Find out what the Zone Committee of Upper Waitaki is discussing.

Visit Webpage

Farming Land Use Consents

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NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck

User Guide

Farm Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps

You will need a consent if the Scheme you receive water from does not have a consent with a nutrient discharge limit and if:

Orange Zone:

If you increase above your Nitrogen Baseline.

Download your Orange Application Form and Planning Assessment.

Red Zone:

Your property is larger than 5ha and your nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr.  An increase above Nitrogen Baseline is prohibited.

Download your Red Application Form and Planning Assessment.

Green and Blue Zone:

Your nitrogen loss exceeds 20kg/ha/yr and you increase by more than 5kg/ha over your Nitrogen Baseline and your property is larger than 50ha.

Download your Application Form and Planning Assessment.

 

If you have a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance (NDA) on your water permit, that will become your NDA on your land use consent.  Talk to a consent planner if you are proposing to increase above your baseline or if you have any questions.

Please note, until the Waitaki sub-region planning process is complete, a consent is still currently required (as above) regardless of any proposed changes.

To find out what nutrient management zone your property falls under,

Visit Canterbury Maps

If you require a resource consent:

You can get an hour free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange your free pre-application consultation you can contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource Consents

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP TEMPLATES AND INFO Learn more about Good Management Practices

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help understand how to make your budget work for you. Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Baseline and

  • A Nitrogen Loss Calculation, in the Orange Zone if you are proposing to increase above your Nitrogen Baseline, or in the Green and Light Blue Zone if you’re proposing an increase that’s more than 5kg/ha over your Nitrogen Baseline.

Key Dates

2018

If you require a consent, apply now.

To make sure you have your ducks in a row, use a free one-hour pre-application meeting with an Environment Canterbury Consent Planner.  Fill in the consent application form found on this webpage, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order.  Call us on 0800 324 636 to arrange an appointment.

Upper Waitaki Plan Change

Keep up to date with the Waitaki Plan change process

Submissions on this plan change have now closed, and the hearing is expected to begin in August 2016. Check out the Environment Canterbury website to keep up with progress.

Other rules on farm

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View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply. See below for your zone specific rules. 

Stock Exclusion

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What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a Lake Zone, any lake classified as a High Naturalness Waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

A river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply.

 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).

Silage Pits

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What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • ·the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • ·any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • ·the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • ·any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • ·the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

keyboard_arrow_down

What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.

 

Alternatively where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary

Outdoor Burning

keyboard_arrow_down

Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Check here to make sure you comply with our regional rules.

Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks

keyboard_arrow_down

See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.

 

Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet

 

Water use for lifestyle blocks

Biodiversity Tool

keyboard_arrow_down

There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly you farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

 

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly, and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the brochure here, or read the information under the tabs below. 

Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent. You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).

What do I have to do?

keyboard_arrow_down

As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.

Monitoring your water use

keyboard_arrow_down

Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections. During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.

Minimum flow restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

keyboard_arrow_down

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.


If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

keyboard_arrow_down

Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information. 

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call Customer Services on 0800 324 636.

Fish screens

keyboard_arrow_down

A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored, on our website.

Weather - planning ahead

keyboard_arrow_down

Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

keyboard_arrow_down

Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Find out about starting a water user group by searching for ‘water user group’ at ecan.govt.nz.

Backflow prevention

keyboard_arrow_down

Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’ at ecan.govt.nz

Key contacts

keyboard_arrow_down

You can contact your Irrigation Scheme, Principal Water Supplier to get help to:

If the resource consent of your Irrigation Scheme or Principal Water Supplier covers your property, you do not need to apply for a resource consent to use the land to farm.

Connect to your Primary Industry Body

They may be able to support and advise you on how to meet Good Management Practice, prepare a Farm Environment Plan and nutrient budgets. There may also be events being held in your area.

Get Help

Talk to your scheme

Benmore

Barry Shepherd

0272389687
bdshepherd@xtra.co.nz

Talk to your Zone

Chris Eccelston

Zone Manager
027 562 2492
chris.eccleston@ecan.govt.nz

Robert Carson Isles

Biodiversity Officer
027 475 6287
robert.carson-isles@ecan.govt.nz

Ian Lyttle

Land Management Advisor
027 702 8307
ian.lyttle@ecan.govt.nz

Rhys Taylor

Community Engagement Coordinator
021 462 260
rhys.taylor@ecan.govt.nz

Rachel Blackburn

Resource Management Officer
027 836 7844
rachel.blackburn@ecan.govt.nz

Brian Reeves

Zone Lead
027 807 3284
Brian.Reeves@ecan.govt.nz