Developing and certifying freshwater farm plans
While freshwater farm plans can be developed by individual farmers. We expect in many cases the creation of a FWFP will need the support of, specialist information, engagement of advisors, perhaps information from primary sector groups, catchment groups and regional councils.
The freshwater farm plan will need to be certified by a qualified certifier who then advises the regional council when the plan is fit for purpose.
Giving effect to Te Mana o te Wai on farms
Under the Freshwater National Policy Statement, regional councils will involve tangata whenua, as well as others, in the regional freshwater planning process.
Freshwater farm plans will then reflect these regional plans when they are finalised. Regional plans might include, for example, the main issues that need to be addressed, what mahinga kai values/locations need to be protected and what particularly important sites need protection or restoration.
Individual farmers and growers will not be required to identify and engage relevant tangata whenua about their freshwater farm plan. That would risk placing an unreasonable burden on both tangata whenua and farmers.
Role of catchment groups in freshwater farm plans
Catchment groups of all types work within their community and with regional councils to identify their catchment priorities. They will also play a key role in supporting the uptake of freshwater farm plans, sharing and setting group outcomes, advances in farming practice and evaluating farm plans as a group to progress catchment outcomes.
Freshwater farm plan advisors and certifiers
It will take time to build up the resources, capacity and capability needed to certify freshwater farm plans. While freshwater farm plans will start to be introduced in 2023, they will be phased in throughout New Zealand over time.
Workforce planning is underway in conjunction with MPI’s wider Primary Industry Advisory Services Workforce Strategy.