Friday, 17 June 2022 07:55

Cautious approval for working group report

Written by  Staff Reporters
Federated Farmers continues to analyse and submit on the vast array of other regulatory changes proposed in the water management area. Federated Farmers continues to analyse and submit on the vast array of other regulatory changes proposed in the water management area.

Federated Farmers is giving the thumbs up to a report released this month by the Rural Supplies Technical Working Group on water services.

Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard sees positives in the report, in particular, rejection of inflexible ‘one size fits all’ approaches to rural supplies.

“Many of the findings raised by the group look sound,” he says. “The report appears to be a tiny sliver of common sense in amongst a pile of water policy decision-making we are struggling to explain to our members.”

The technical working group chaired by Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan has recommended all council-owned mixed-use rural supplies should transfer to the new water services entities because they will have the people, resources and expertise to operate these schemes into the future.

However, Federated Farmers still has major concerns about the set-up of the ‘four entities’ themselves.

“But we like the recommendation that there should be the option for the rural community to take back water assets with shared ownership or maintenance agreements,” Hoggard says.

“It would depend on capacity, finances and capability, the predominant use of the scheme and other factors. But the community should decide.”
Feds agrees with the report’s recommendation that rural service users should generally not be subsidising urban service users.

Also, that consultation with rural users on the water entities’ funding should start before the new entities ‘go live’ and before domestic volumetric pricing is introduced to new areas.

The recommendation that new water quality regulator Taumata Arowai should provide cost-effective ways for schemes to comply that recognises their uniqueness, offers options to not chlorinate in certain drinking water supply situations, and closely involves rural stakeholders in designing and implementing regulatory requirements, are “spot on” Hoggard says.

Federated Farmers continues to analyse and submit on the vast array of other regulatory changes proposed in the water management area.

“Sadly this is just a small piece in the much larger puzzle we are trying to put together properly for our members right now,” he says.

More like this

Feds exodus

OPINION: Expect some big changes in the Federated Farmers leadership team at their annual meeting next month.

Rural drinking water schemes critical

The Rural Supplies Technical Working Group (RSTWG) has made 30 recommendations in a recent report to Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), including that the country's 100 or so council-owned rural water supply schemes be transferred to the four new co-governed water entities.

Biodiversity budget support falls short - Feds

Federated Farmers say that while the latest draft of the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB) is a significant improvement, its success is undermined by a lack of funding on Budget 2022 to assist private landowners.

Editorial: Surprise, surprise!

OPINION:  A recent report on rural water schemes – commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) – will do little to quell users’ concerns about the Government’s contentious 3 Waters reforms.

National

Plan against rising costs

After a good 2021 season, rising costs are now starting to hit farmers. Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Taranaki rural advisor…

Power plant to close

Energy company Contact is closing its 44-megawatt Te Rapa power station in June next year.

Machinery & Products

Effective water use

At a time when the rising cost of inputs like fuel, transport and fertiliser are putting increased pressure on profitability,…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Tinder for cows!

OPINION: Irish farmers can now swipe right on a tinder type dating app for cows!

Cow and cars

OPINION: Cows are the favourite target of vegans, Greenpeace, the Green Party and plant-based food advocates.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter