by Hamish Barwick
Federated Farmers has a glimmer of hope that the Tasman District Council is listening to its concerns about the council’s Draft Stock Control and Droving Bylaw.
Farmers in the Nelson and Golden Bay area’s feel the Bylaw is unworkable as it would require mobs of livestock to be held 50m back from the roads, before going onto the road, in an attempt to stop stock defecating on roads.
The Bylaw would also require permits which would capture virtually all road droving within consent application processes, so the Council can gather information on stock droving.
In addition, there are wrongly placed rules citing the need for compliance with Resource Management Act (RMA) freshwater management policy and regulations when the Tasman Regional Resource Management Plan doesn’t allow the Council to use bylaws in its implementation methods on Freshwater Management.
At the invitation of members, Council staff have gone on farm visits to witness how road droving is managed.
Federated Farmers noted in its submission that the Council had a Stock Control and Droving Bylaw which came into effect in 2005 and expired in 2017. Since the bylaw expired, farmers continued to operate their businesses in a safe and practical manner by using roads to move stock, all without the need for rules contained in a bylaw.
During a public webinar in July 2022, the Council said the Draft Bylaw had come about in response to a motorcyclist being injured in 2021 when tape/wires were left over a road.
Federated Farmers Regional Policy Manager – Central Region Peter Matich said the Council will be hearing submissions on August 22. Nelson Provincial President Stephen Todd and Golden Bay Provincial President Cherrie Chubb will be attending the hearing and presenting Federated Farmers’ submission.
Matich said the Council had created the Draft Bylaw with minimal consultation and Federated Farmers first became aware of it when an article was published on the Stuff website.
Feds versus Manawatu District Council
This is not the first time Federated Farmers has lobbied a council about unworkable stock control bylaws. In June 2020, it submitted concerns to the Manawatu District Council about its Draft Stock Movement and Grazing Bylaw and Draft Stock Underpass Policy.
At the time, the Manawatu District Council proposed that all stock droving would require the submission of a Traffic Management Plan to Council 10 days prior to the date the droving was to occur. Federated Farmers said in its submission that a Traffic Management Plan was just adding “extra compliance for farmers trying to keep the job done.”
“The economic costs of any controls imposed, must be balanced with the benefits that can be achieved,” it said at the time.
The draft policy has since been removed from the Manawatu District Council website.