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Changes made to winter grazing regulations in NES for Freshwater

Cabinet has agreed to make some adjustments to regulations within the new National Environmental Standards for Freshwater to make them clearer.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says “It became apparent that some of the regulations within the Freshwater standards – including ones around winter grazing – need to be adjusted, so we’ve done that.”

“The regulations on pugging depths around fixed water troughs and gateways weren’t practical so we have made some adjustments to make them more realistic. Discrete areas around fixed water troughs and gateways have now been exempted. We’ve also amended the definition for pugging to provide more clarity.”

“It comes down to the sensible application of necessary regulations. There will be other regulations that will need to be adjusted as we move forward. For example, Minister Parker and I are aware of issues with the maps. We’ve both met about it and officials from the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries are working on making the mapping data more accurate.”

The amendments are:

  • Change the definition of pugging to penetration of soil of more than 5cm.
  • Clarification that that the 20cm pugging depth limit does not apply around fixed structures.