Updated: 14 September 2021
Overseer is a tool to model nutrient losses from land which is used in a variety of ways by regulators and others. Recently the Government released a review of the tool. Find out how this may affect the way we manage water quality.
Overseer is one of the few ways that nutrient losses from land can be estimated, meaning it is a significant way of managing water quality.
Our Resource Management Act plans and consents use Overseer as a method, alongside farm environment plans and independent audits, to maintain or improve water quality by minimising nitrate-nitrogen losses.
Overseer is used in Canterbury in several ways:
- in the planning framework,
- in resource consents,
- in farm environment plan audits,
- and in our compliance, monitoring and enforcement processes.
However, it is not the only way we manage nutrient losses in Canterbury.
There are nearly 3900 farm accounts in Canterbury, nearly half of the national total of 8000 registered users.
We will take the time to consider the review and the Government’s response to it before making decisions. We are communicating with mana whenua and our various stakeholders who may be affected.
- Find out more about the Government response to the Overseer review and read the full review report.
- Find out more about the review of the tool.
What areas will the review affect?
We will take the time to consider the review before we will be in a position to understand the implications. We will then be in touch with potentially affected stakeholders.
Proposed Plan Change 7 (PC7) to the Land & Water Regional Plan and Plan Change 2 to the Waimakariri River Regional Plan (PC2) are nearing the end of the Resource Management Act process.
We want to understand the Overseer review outcome before Council makes a decision on whether to accept the PC7 and PC2 hearing commissioners’ recommendations as its own.
Council has applied to the Minister for the Environment for an extension to the timeframe for it to make its decision.
We will take the time to consider the review before making decisions. We will not put consent applications on hold.
We will continue working with current consent holders and new applicants and their advisors. We need to ensure that consent holders are, at a minimum, operating at or better than industry-agreed Good Management Practice.
We have temporarily paused FEP audits for farming land use consents while we consider the review.
See the letter sent to consent holders (PDF file, 31.38KB) with audits coming up.
Audits are a high-priority activity because they measure farm environment plan performance, so we are looking to start these again as soon as we can.