Environment Minister Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have released a consultation document proposing new measures to improve the management of rivers, lakes, aquifers and wetlands.
The Next Steps for Fresh Water document includes 23 key proposals under the broad headings of fresh water and the environment, economic use of fresh water, iwi rights and interests in fresh water, and freshwater funding.
Included in the proposals are national regulations to prevent stock getting access to waterways. The proposed regulations have a clear timetable starting with all dairy and pig farms by July 2017, and progressively including dairy support, beef and deer farms relative to steepness of country by 2030.
Other proposals would strengthen the national requirement on councils to set limits, standardise water permit conditions on efficient use of water and minimising nutrient loss, improve iwi involvement in council development of water plans and water conservations, and introduce an additional $100 million clean-up fund for lakes, rivers and wetlands.
Public submissions on the proposals will close on 22 April 2016 and a series of public meetings and hui will be held in March and April. The proposals in the paper will be refined into amendments to the Resource Management 1991 and the National Policy Statement, as well as new national regulations.