The recently released Essential Freshwater Legislation (EFW)
has many flaws and impractical parts to it. The Government did not involve Fed Farmers, B&L or Dairy NZ in the consultation, nor did it take notice of the wisdom of farmers in their thousands of submissions.
The result is poor legislation which has had “tweaks” within 2 weeks of tabling, a sure sign of rushed and poorly put together rules.
Realistically it needs a lot more than tweaks and Federated Farmers are now working constructively with MFE and MPI to inform these changes. This is the first of many ways we are working on getting improvements. The Southland Federated Farmers and chamber of Commerce joint Freshwater Hui with over 400 people and 150 tractors highlighted the rules will impact not just farmers.
Federated Farmers staff and executives around the country have spent thousands of hours reading and getting to grips with the legislation to understand the effects on our farms.
This reading and understanding of plans, legislation and other things being thrown on farmers is one of the main reasons I joined Federated Farmers. Often, they have hundreds of pages of writing and maps which makes it near impossible to read, interpret and pickup inconsistencies and make detailed submissions and suggestions on them. This is what Feds people are brilliantly skilled at.
Another example is the recent TANK plan. Peter Matich- Feds policy analyst, spent 6 weeks fulltime going through the plan, meeting with farmers and writing a 80 page submission to Hawkes Bay Regional Council. There is more work to do with reviewing other submissions, making further submissions, then hearings and if needed court proceedings.
A big thank you to our members for working tirelessly on the recent projects.
If you know someone who isn’t a member ask them if they had the time and energy to put in their own detailed submission? Keeping in mind -understanding, researching, and writing a submission adds up to at least double of an annual Feds membership. We are better together, and together we can get better outcomes for rural communities.