Farmers await water roadshows

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Most farmers in North Otago are waiting for the Otago Regional Council water quality roadshows and did not attend the official launch of Plan Change 6A in Dunedin on Friday.

Lyndon Strang, NO Federated Farmers dairy representative, said it was a good launch but only about six farmers attended from this region.

“Most farmers are waiting for the roadshows at Maheno and Papakaio which will give a more regional perspective,” Mr Strang said.

“There was a lot of policy talk on Friday.”

“They gave an overview of the history (of the plan change) and also what they’re trying to achieve.”

He said farmers now have six years to put a framework in place to comply with ORC water quality and nitrogen leaching standards.

His advice to farmers is to ‘start by seeing where you’re at at the moment.’

“Test the water coming into your property and again where it leaves.”

“Do an overseer budget too and if both these tests are OK, then you’re probably right.”

Chairman of the ORC, Stephen Woodhead, spoke to farmers at the launch and said that council’s regulatory approach, which is based on self-responsibility, had aroused plenty of interest nationwide.

He said many people would be watching to see if their new way of regulating will work.

“Those who prefer highly regulated land use approaches are already sceptical and will take some convincing that our approach will achieve its aims.”

“I hope that like me, this makes you even more determined to prove them wrong.”

The water quality roadshows are being held on Tuesday, July 8 at the Papakaio Community Hall (10.30-midday), Maheno Hall (3-4.30pm) and Palmerston Community Hall (7.30-9pm).

By LINDA MCCARTHY