Federated Farmers comments on Kapiti Best Practice Approaces to Ecological Sites

Federated Farmers recognises the importance of indigenous biodiversity to New Zealand, and to our identity as New Zealanders. The Resource Management Act as a matter of national importance (Section 6(c)) requires the protection of significant indigenous vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna. Our interest is in ensuring that protection mechanisms are pragmatic, and recognise and provide for the farming business.

Federated Farmers held concerns over identification of SNAs in the first generation plans, when poor information from often out of date Department of Conservation Data was compounded with little or no communication with landowners.

Unless active pest management occurs in ecological sites, even with stock exclusion vegetation and biodiversity will not be protected. Federated Farmers advocates for the use of non-regulatory methods with regard to ecological sites. We believe the biggest gains can be achieved in the non-regulatory space. A regulatory framework in a plan can merely stop a farmer doing something, but it will not drive them to enhance the qualities of an area through action. Often the greatest challenges farmers face is the cost of works.

For more, please see the full comments paper