The Freshwater NES set requirements for carrying out certain activities that pose risks to freshwater and freshwater ecosystems. Anyone carrying out these activities will need to comply with the standards.
The standards are designed to:
- protect existing inland and coastal wetlands
- protect urban and rural streams from in-filling
- ensure connectivity of fish habitat (fish passage)
- set minimum requirements for feedlots and other stockholding areas
- improve poor practice intensive winter grazing of forage crops
- restrict further agricultural intensification until the end of 2024
- limit the discharge of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to land, and require reporting of fertiliser use.
In many cases, people will need to apply for a resource consent from their regional council to continue carrying out regulated activities.