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The focus of our Fieldays site this year was on Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora and the council's long term plan.

We had a great turn out at our site with good conversations around the proposed plan change and some great feedback on our priority areas for our long term plan.

People were given three ping pong balls and asked to choose their top three priority areas.

The “fresh water” bucket received the most votes, and was the most popular priority every day, followed by “land use choices” and “coastal and marine areas”.

Our staff enjoyed the opportunity to talk to landowners at our site. Many had general questions about Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora and the impact it may have on them.

There was a lot of discussion around Farm Environment Plans, the proposal for Nitrogen Reference Points and the Land Use Change rule, the only rule that is currently active.

You can read more about it here.

Or visit our website to find out more.


We had udderly great time at Fieldays. Council's Integrated Catchment Management Director, Clare Crickett, and Land Management Advisor, Hamish Smith, with one of Saturday's site vistors.

Chuck it in the bucket. If you missed us at Fieldays you can still give us your insight on our seven priorities through our long term plan survey, online here.  

Land Management Workshops

We have been working on a programme to upskill farm consultants in land management and soil conservation practices which minimise erosion. About 60 people who are considering getting certified as Farm Environment Planners attended the first course, run at the end of May. There has been so much interest in the next course, to be run in September, that it is already fully subscribed.

We're also working through Farm Environment Plan guidelines and a certification process for both Nutrient Advisors and Farm Environment Planners. This has included conversations at a national level about a national certification framework that could apply in all regional council areas.

Helpful information for landowners

A Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora brochure was mailed to just over 10,000 ratepayers in the Waikato and Waipā catchments, that are likely to be affected by what’s proposed as part of Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora.

The brochure outlines key components of the proposed plan and what landowners can be thinking about now, to ensure they’re well placed when final decisions on the plan are anticipated to be made, next year.

While the proposed plan still has a hearings process to go through, landowners will need to be planning to complete registration of their property with council, and provide a Nitrogen Reference Point (NRP), where required in the proposed plan.

In particular it’s important for landowners to save key information to support their Nitrogen Reference Point, and this brochure explains what that entails.

Landowners may also like to think about work they could start on their properties now, to manage the risks associated with the four key contaminants. There is nothing stopping landowners from starting to mitigate those risks now and any action undertaken will be recognised as part of the requirements of a Farm Environment Plan. 

You can find copies of the brochure on the website.
You can also read more about it here.

Hauraki Iwi consultation

Consultation with Hauraki Iwi on the partially withdrawn area of the plan is ongoing. We are expecting to have recommendations made in the coming months. Once that consultation process is complete and recommendations are made, these recommendations will be considered by the Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora Committee and then full council to make a decision to notify a plan for the withdrawn area and call for submissions.

Submissions on this area will then be summarised. The council will then release summaries from the Hauraki portion and the substantive part of the plan, together. This approach will allow us to combine the two processes into one hearings and decisions process.

These summaries are likely to be available towards the end of the year.

The full list of 1002 summaries are available on the Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora webpages. Read more about the process here.

You can also read all submissions on our webpages here.

What software do you use?

We're running a very short survey to help us understand what type of software landowners are currently using to manage their farm, and which systems they find most useful and easy to use.

Complete the survey over the next two weeks and go in the draw to win a $250 prezzy card.


This information will form part of our work in scoping the online portal for Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora.

The online portal will be designed to accept things like the registration of your property, Nitrogen Reference Points and Farm Environment Plans, proposed under the current plan.

We will not use or share your contact details provided for any other purpose than this survey.