Support and Guidance /FAQs
Council is here to support farmers in the implementation of Freshwater Farm Plans. In the months ahead, staff will be available to advise landowners over the phone or in person, as well as ensuring this page is updated with information as it is received. Council also plans to run meetings, workshops, and one-on-ones with farmers to answer any questions.
Farm operators are welcome to produce their own plans for certification. Guidance is available to support farmers to do this. However, we expect that many farm operators will engage a rural professional to create the bulk of their first Freshwater Farm Plan to ensure it meets the minimum requirements.
Your industry group may have options to help you with the development of your Freshwater Farm Plan as well. We are working with industry to provide guidance and support to the farming community.
All farmers must still comply with the regional rules.
The better you do at sticking to the action plan set out in your Freshwater Farm Plan, the less frequently you’ll need to be audited.
|Next Audit within
|All actions categorised in the action plan as regulated actions, catchment actions and supplementary actions have been implemented within the timeframes required under the action plan
|All actions categorised in the action plan as regulated actions, catchment actions have been implemented within the timeframes required under the action plan, but one or more actions categorised as supplementary actions have not been implemented within the required timeframes
|All actions categorised in the action plan as regulated actions have been implemented within the timeframes required under the action plan, but one or more actions categorised as catchment actions have not been implemented within the required timeframes
|One or more actions categorised in the action plan as regulated
actions have not been implemented within the timeframes required under the
One or more actions categorised in the action plan as catchment actions or supplementary actions have still not been implemented within the timeframes required under the action plan following a subsequent audit.
Regulated action refers to actions that:
a) address risks to freshwater and freshwater ecosystems
b) relate to relevant requirements under legislation, for example the NES-FW, Stock Exclusion Regulations, pMEP etc.
Catchment actions means:
a) actions that address risks to freshwater and freshwater ecosystems that directly relate to the catchment context, challenges and values, but:
b) excludes regulated actions.
Supplementary actions refers to:
a) actions that address risks to freshwater and freshwater ecosystems BUT:
b) excludes catchment actions and regulated actions.
If you disagree with any aspect of the certifier’s draft decision or assessment report, you can provide comments to the certifier in writing within 10 days of receiving them. They must then consider these comments and provide a preliminary decision and assessment report. This will let you know whether the plan has been certified or needs to be amended to achieve certification. You must notify the certifier if you disagree with the preliminary results within 10 days of receiving them. You are then able to engage a second certifier who will need all the information you provided the first certifier as well as the preliminary decision and assessment report they provided. You must inform the first certifier (within 10 days) if you engage a second certifier.
Yes, if that person is a registered certifier in Marlborough.
No. An auditor cannot audit a Freshwater Farm Plan if they have given advice in the preparation of the plan in the last two years or if they certified the plan.
What role will existing industry programmes and assurance schemes provide under the Freshwater Farm Plan system?
Industry programmes will play a key role in enabling effective implementation and delivery of Freshwater Farm Plans.
The Ministry for the Environment is actively working with industry to update their programmes to align with the Freshwater Farm Plan requirements.
We expect several industry assurance schemes and digital farm planning services will be updated to support Freshwater Farm Plans.
Please contact your service provider to check whether they are updating their programmes, when they may be able to help you develop your Freshwater Farm Plan, and whether their programme is right for you.
You can pass this onto the new owner to adopt if they wish. If the new owner adopts the property’s existing plan, they must arrange for an auditor to audit it within 12 months of taking over the farm. A new farm operator is not responsible for the failure of the previous farm operator to meet actions within the timeframes required in the action plan, meet timeframes for submitting the plan for recertification or any existing timeframes for auditing.