Developing a freshwater farm plan
Farmers can develop their own freshwater farm plan, or they can engage an advisor or a freshwater farm plan certifier to assist them.
Guidance and resources will be available to support farmers and those developing plans including:
- the Ministry’s guidance on Developing a Freshwater Farm Plan (see above)
- upcoming regional council and industry resources.
This list will be updated as more resources become available.
Farmers and those developing plans can also look to their relevant industry groups and local catchment groups for further support.
Freshwater farm plans will need to be certified.
Freshwater farm plan certifiers will be appointed by regional councils. Regional councils will make a list of certifiers available.
Farmers must engage a certifier within 18 months of the regulations applying in their area and support them to conduct the certification process.
Once the freshwater farm plan has been certified the certifier will notify the relevant regional council.
Freshwater farm plans will need to be recertified every 5 years.
Freshwater farm plans will need to be audited within 12 months of the initial certification.
Freshwater farm plan auditors will be appointed by regional councils. Regional councils will make a list of auditors available.
Farmers must arrange for an auditor to audit their farm and support them to conduct the audit.
The auditor will assess whether the farmer is implementing the FWFP as set out in the certified plan.
Once the freshwater farm plan has been audited the auditor will notify the relevant regional council of the audit grade.
The timeframe for the following audit will be determined by the audit grade.
Becoming a freshwater farm plan certifier or auditor
Freshwater farm plan certifiers and auditors may come from a range of backgrounds provided they have the necessary skills and experience (competencies) set out in the regulations.
The appointment process for certifier and auditors will involve:
- an assessment of their experience and qualifications
- training on the freshwater farm plan system at national and regional level
- a practical on-farm assessment (for certifiers only).
The appointment process is run by a third-party appointment process manager (AsureQuality). More information on how to apply to become a FW FP certifier or auditor can be found below.
The appointment process manager will recommend the appointment of applicants to the relevant regional council.
Giving effect to Te Mana o te Wai
Te Mana o te Wai is the central concept in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM) for all freshwater management.
Te Mana o te Wai prioritises the health and wellbeing of freshwater ecosystems, then the health of people, followed by commercial use.
Under the NPS-FM regional councils will involve tangata whenua, as well as others, in the regional freshwater planning process.
The local approach to giving effect to Te Mana o te Wai, and the content of regional plans will be reflected in freshwater farm plan through the catchment context, challenges, and values requirements.
Individual farmers and growers will not be required to identify and engage relevant tangata whenua about their freshwater farm plan.
Role of catchment groups in freshwater farm plans
Catchment groups work within their community and with regional councils to identify their catchment priorities.
They can also play a key role in: