Environment Canterbury acknowledges milestone on World Environment Day

Environment Canterbury today welcomed the launch of the national Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality and reflected on years of leadership and progress in the region.

Councillor Tom Lambie said it was four years almost to the day since “Industry Agreed Good Management Practices Relating to Water Quality” were introduced by the primary sectors in Canterbury with a view to national adoption.

Councillor Lambie was chair of the Matrix of Good Management Governance Group that guided the technical work informing the Good Management Practices each industry sector subsequently developed for their members.

“This was a milestone in terms of the primary sectors collaborating to help address water quality issues both in Canterbury and throughout New Zealand,” Mr Lambie said.  “It is a testament to the hard work that DairyNZ, Deer Industry New Zealand, NZPork, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Horticulture NZ, the Foundation for Arable Research and many farmers and growers put in then that the principles have been picked up in the national action plan.”

The aim of the Matrix of Good Management project was to estimate the “footprint” of nitrogen and phosphorus loss for the range of farm systems in Canterbury, assuming they were operating at good management practice.

“This meant we needed to be clear about what constituted good management on farms and the guide went a long way towards achieving that.  Good management practice should be the minimum standard for the primary sector, and it is what every farmer would reasonably expect from their peers.  They are now identifying the environmental risks and acting to manage them.

“Farm environment plans are central to this, as the new action plan confirms,” Tom Lambie concluded. “We already have more than 3000 of these important documents throughout the region, a rigorous auditing regime providing assurance, and land use consents being required of farmers in high-risk areas. Nitrogen loss limits are set in consents. We would welcome the opportunity to showcase all the good work that is happening in Canterbury.”

Read the National Action Plan and farm environment plan case studies.

Find out more about Industry Agreed Good Management Practices and information on the award-winning land use consent to farm campaign.