Water was the hot topic in the 2017 election campaign. This year, with an election coming up shortly, there seems to have been little talk of water (or much policy at all, so far) with Covid still taking up most of the news space, closely followed by scandals of various sorts.
The National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020 (the Freshwater NES), however, are due to be published later this year. Some parts of it will take effect 28 days after it is published while other parts won’t come into effect until the winter of 2021. This year is more than half over, and with the first half of the year being severely disrupted by the Covid lockdown and because the election is looming, there can be no certainty that the new Freshwater NES will be published this year. There is no certainty as to what form it will take, given we may not know which parties will form the government – perhaps sometime in October.
Continue reading “National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020”
Five-year joint action plan launched
On 24 October 2019 the primary sector launched the ‘Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment: He Waka Eke Noa – our future in our hands to manage agricultural emissions.’
He Waka Eke Noa kicks off a collaborative five-year joint action plan between the agriculture sector, the government and iwi with the target of decreasing farming emissions and developing a farm emissions pricing scheme. If the action plan produces satisfactory results, agriculture will not be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) under the proposed Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill.
Continue reading “On-farm emissions reduction”
Cattle rustling now a crime
As noted in the Autumn edition of Rural eSpeaking, the newly minted Crimes Amendment Act has introduced two new offences aimed at addressing cattle rustling. The legislation came into force on 12 March 2019.
Federated Farmers has estimated that livestock thefts cost the farming community more than $120 million every year. Cattle rustling also causes biosecurity concerns associated with the movement of stock as well as the safety of farmers as firearms and other weapons are often involved with this kind of offending.
Continue reading “Over the fence”
Significant changes post-M.bovis
The NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing) system was first introduced in 2012 and came into effect progressively until it was fully implemented on 29 February 2016.
Any completely new system is likely to need a review after being in operation for a period of time. Within 18 months of NAIT’s final implementation date, the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis in this country gave the regime a real test and, not surprisingly, the system was found wanting in some respects.
Continue reading “NAIT review”
What is the government proposing?
The Minister for Land Information, the Hon Eugenie Sage, announced on 17 February this year that the ‘tenure review’ of Crown pastoral land under the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 (CPLA) would end. She introduced a discussion document entitled ‘Enduring Stewardship of Crown Pastoral Land’ that sets out a number of proposals in relation to Crown pastoral land. Public feedback is sought on:
- The implications of ending the tenure review
- The outcomes the Crown is seeking for Crown pastoral land, and
- What changes should be made to the Crown Pastoral Land regulatory system to achieve those outcomes.
Submissions should be made by 5pm on Friday 12 April 2019.
There are 171 remaining Crown pastoral lease properties covering approximately 1.2 million hectares of Crown pastoral land.
Continue reading “Tenure review of Crown pastoral land to end”
The right to impound and to claim for damages
One of the perennial problems that farmers face is that of stock wandering or stock getting out and interfering with, or causing damage to, neighbouring properties. Generally speaking, the issue of having a small number of stock grazing on your land for a short time until they are put back in the neighbour’s property may not be too great a concern.
There are, however. some fairly serious issues that can arise, particularly where stock from a pastoral farm, for example, gets into cropping or orchard land where the damage could not only relate to the crops that are eaten or destroyed but also could cause issues with export or organic certification. As a result, losses caused by wandering or trespassing stock could be significantly in excess of the value of the lost crops.
What can be done about this?
Continue reading “Wandering stock”
How is access granted?
Our ability to access the ‘great outdoors’ in New Zealand is seen as something of a citizen’s right. At times, however, It does conflict with the rights of private landowners when, in order to access the great outdoors, there is a need to cross their private land first.
The question of public access over private land has recently been becoming more of an issue. In particular, groups who are advocating for that access see the acquisition of private land by overseas people as an opportunity to gain more formal access over private land. Historically, New Zealanders have enjoyed a reasonably significant amount of access over private land – often based around relatively informal arrangements.
Public access over private land is a complex topic. This article gives you some background to the law relating to the rights of private landowners.
Continue reading “Private land with public access”
Whether you like it or not, you will probably need to fund your farming operations with borrowing from one of New Zealand’s main trading banks.
The main terms that borrowers look at when signing loan facility documentation relate to the cost of the borrowing: interest rate, the amount of the repayment sums and the term of the lending. The security required is usually a mortgage over the farm land and, more often than not, a general security agreement which is effectively a mortgage over all of the farming entity’s assets that are not land such as stock, crops, machinery, receivables and so on.
Continue reading “Loan Documents: Read the fine print, there could be some surprises”
A new (uncertain) dawn for farmers
One of the hot issues in the recent election campaign was raising the water standards in our rivers and lakes. Regional authorities are the bodies that are charged with implementing the government’s water standards policy.
All regional authorities have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, plan changes that are designed to enable them to achieve the minimum water standards set by government.
Reduce leaching into waterway
One of the aims of these plan changes is to reduce the amount of nitrogen and/or phosphorous leaching from farms into waterways.
Continue reading “Farm Management Plans”
Give it some thought when buying or selling
Agreements for the sale and purchase of rural land generally contain a ‘good husbandry’ clause. This clause is often inserted into the agreement as a ‘boiler plate’ or standard clause by real estate agents when preparing contracts. We discuss why it’s better to tailor-make this clause to suit each transaction.
The standard clause is often worded along these lines:
From the date of this Agreement until settlement, the Vendor shall continue to farm the property in a good and husband-like manner and in accordance with approved good farming practice in the district and shall neither overstock nor under-stock the property, nor do anything to impoverish the soil nor remove or damage any improvement or fixtures on the property.
However, both a seller and a buyer should give careful thought to the wording of this clause and its implications; it should be tailored to suit the particulars of any given transaction. This is particularly so for transactions where settlement is some time out from when the agreement was signed. It also needs to relate to properties where specific types of farming are being carried out.
Continue reading “Good Husbandry”