Have your say

The Government is proposing changes to the intensive winter grazing regulations (within the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater).

Find out more and have your say (The consultation closed on Thursday 7 October)


 View a webinar presentation [PDF, 2.5 MB]

The webinar also covers freshwater farm plans and stock exclusion low slope mapping changes (which we are also consulting on).

About intensive winter grazing

Intensive winter grazing is a farming practice where livestock (cattle, sheep, deer) are confined over winter to outdoor feeding areas planted with annual forage crops (eg, swedes, kale and fodder beet). They provide feed when there is no or low pasture growth and contribute to pasture renewal rotations for improved production. However, it is widely acknowledged that, if done poorly or too extensively, intensive winter grazing can have serious negative effects on both animal welfare and the environment. 

As part of the Essential Freshwater reforms, the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020 (NES-F) were created to make early changes to high-risk activities such as intensive winter grazing. These regulations were due to come into effect on 1 May 2021. However, following feedback from the primary sector and regional government about the practical challenges associated with implementing the new requirements, the commencement of the intensive winter grazing regulations was temporarily deferred. They are currently due to take effect on 1 May 2022.

Note, the regulations restricting further expansion of intensive winter grazing (the intensification rules) were not delayed. Expansion or new intensive winter grazing still requires a resource consent.

Proposed changes

We have received feedback that aspects of the intensive winter grazing regulations may require modification to support effective implementation and achieve improved environmental outcomes. This particularly relates to conditions that are weather-dependent or difficult to practically comply with.

We are now proposing changes to make it more practical to comply with the intensive winter grazing regulations. We are seeking feedback on the proposed changes.

Find out more about the proposed changes and have your say

Find out more

See intensive winter grazing regulations and the module that was released earlier this year [Ministry for Primary Industries website]

For more information, contact IWG@mfe.govt.nz.