Selwyn Waihora

Below you can find information and rules in relation to farming in the Selwyn Waihora.

What's happening in your zone?
Find out what the Selwyn Waihora zone committee is discussing.

Selwyn Waihora water zone    Zone events

Farming land use consents
When do I need a consent?

You will need a consent if your farm is not covered by Central Plains Water consent and:

Your farm is more, or less, than 10 hectares and your nitrogen loss calculation exceeds 15 kilograms/hectare/year; or

Your farm is 10 hectares or larger and any part of your property is within the Lake Area of the Cultural Landscape Values Management Area or the Phosphorus and Sediment Risk Area.

Download your Greater than 15 kilograms/hectare/year Application Form and Planning Assessment

Download your Less than 15 kilograms/hectare/year Application Form and Planning Assessment

Phosphorus and Sediment Risk Area

The Phosphorus and Sediment Risk Area in the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment has been identified in the Land & Water Regional Plan as being at risk to phosphorus and sediment loss. It was introduced during the Selwyn Te Waihora sub-regional water quality limit-setting process. 

It includes soils located in the foothills at the top of the catchment and areas of artificially-drained soils near Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere.

To find out whether your property is within the Phosphorus and Sediment Risk Area, use the Selwyn Te Waihora Farming Activities Map or contact our Customer Services staff on (03) 353 9007 or toll free on 0800 324 636.

Will I receive a phosphorus limit?

No. You will need to implement Good Management Practices to manage phosphorus and sediment losses.

Management will differ for each property depending on land use, soil type, slope and a range of other factors.

Your Farm Environment Plan will require you to set objectives and targets around minimising the movement of sediment and phosphorus into waterways.

The Industry-agreed Good Management Practices relating to water quality should be used to guide your practices. View the Industry-agreed Good Management Practices.

Cultural Landscape Values Management Area

The Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area (CLVMA) is a special feature of the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment that recognises the significance of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere to Ngāi Tahu.

The CLVMA comprises a Lake Area and a River Zone. The Lake Area includes Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, its margins and wetlands.

The River Zone includes 20 meters each side of the 13 rivers below that flow into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere excluding tributaries that only flow during rainfall events and artificial watercourses (except in the Waikekewai catchment).

To find out whether your property is within the Phosphorus and Sediment Risk area, use the Selwyn Te Waihora Farming Activities Map  or contact our Customer Services staff on (03) 353 9007 or toll free on 0800 324 636.

Do I need a farming activity land use consent if I am in the ‘River Zone’ of the Cultural Landscape Values Management Area?

If your property is wholly or partially within the River Zone to the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area, you do not automatically require a consent.

If, however, you require a farming activity land use consent because you are in the Phosphorus and Sediment Risk Area and/or your nitrogen loss is greater than 15kgN/ha/yr you will be asked to address the impacts of your farming activity on cultural values. What you need to address is covered below.

What will I need in place to apply for consent if my property is within the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area?

If your nitrogen loss is less than or equal to 15kg/ha/yr you will need to have: 

  • A completed consent application form; and
  • A Farm Environment Plan (FEP) which fulfils the requirements of Schedule 7 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan; and
  • Information on your current or proposed nitrogen loss using Overseer® or NCheck demonstrating that your nitrogen loss is, or will be 15kgN/ha/yr or less.

If your nitrogen loss is greater than 15kg/ha/yr you will need to have:

  • A completed consent application form; and
  • A Farm Environment Plan (FEP) which fulfils the requirements of Schedule 7 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan; and
  • Information on your Nitrogen Baseline using Overseer® (or an equivalent model approved by the Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury). 

Do I have to address anything additional when applying for consent?

Yes. When you apply for consent you will be asked whether you agree to implement the additional objective and targets below alongside your existing Farm Environment Plan. 

This is a question in section 6 of the application forms.

 

Objective: To protect mahinga kai and manage waterways and drains recognising their cultural and ecological sensitivity to discharges of contaminants.

Targets:

  1. Mahinga kai values are protected by implementing all other Farm Environment Plan Objectives and Targets taking mahinga kai values into account.
  2. Mahinga kai species and habitats are protected when waterway (including drain) management and vegetation clearance occurs.
  3. Mahinga kai habitats and species are sustained through management of remnant native vegetation and wetlands.
  4. Properties within Selwyn District Council Drainage Scheme comply with any District Council Discharge of Land Drainage Water resource consent. 

Practices to implement this objective and targets as part of your Farm Environment Plan will need to be in place prior to your first audit which will be 12 months after your consent is granted. 

To help you implement this objective and targets download this handy guide (PDF File, 1.46MB).

More information can also be found at on our Mahinga Kai page. 

If you do not agree to the additional management objective you will need to outline how you will protect mahinga kai and manage waterways and drains and the cultural and ecological sensitively of the area.

You will also be asked in the application form to identify if your property contains any wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga. 

What is wāhi tapu and wāhi taonga?

Wāhi tapu are places of particular significance that have been imbued with an element of sacredness or restriction (tapu) following certain events or circumstances (e.g. burial places, places where baptismal rites were performed or battlegrounds). 

Wahi taonga are “places treasured” due to their high intrinsic values and critical role they have in maintaining a balance and robust ecosystem (e.g. spawning grounds for fish or nesting areas for birds).

They are prized because of their capacity to shape and sustain the quality of life experience and provide for the needs of present and future generations, and as places that connect and bind current generations to their ancestral land and practices. 

How do I know if my property contains a known wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga and what do I do if it does?

Use the Selwyn Te Waihora Farming Activities Map on this web page or contact customer services to find out whether your property contains any wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga sites.

What’s happens if my application contains a known wāhi Tapu or wāhi taonga?

During the consents process your application will be forwarded to Mahaanui Kurataiao Limited.

Mahaanui Kurataiao Limited (MKT) has a general mandate to represent the interests of Papatipu Rūnanga who hold manawhenua rights and interests over the lands and waters within their respective takiwā.

They will establish whether any additional management is recommended. 

If you would like advice or further information about wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga contact customer services on (03) 353 9007 or toll free on 0800 324 636 to find out how best to contact the catchments Cultural Land Management Advisor. 

What is mahinga kai?

The Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 describes mahinga kai as “the customary gathering of food and natural material and places where those resources are gathered.” Mahinga kai is central to Ngāi Tahu’s culture, identify and relationship with landscapes and waterways.

 

Farming activities with nitrogen losses greater than 15kgN/ha/yr

What if I can’t meet the % reductions by 1 January 2022?

If you do not agree to meet the % reductions by 2022, then you are likely to receive a short term consent through to 1 January 2022. 

Can I use NCheck instead of OVERSEER®?

For farms with nitrogen losses greater than 15kg N/ha/yr, NCheck has only been approved for use in the short term for certain Arable and Horticultural famers to prepare a Nitrogen Baseline.

Find more information on NCheck’s approved uses.

Will I receive a nitrogen limit as part of my consent?

Yes. Within the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment farming activities leaching more than 15kg N/ha/yr will receive an initial nitrogen discharge limit not exceeding the nitrogen baseline for their property,

From 2022, they will be subject to further percentage reductions in nitrogen losses below their nitrogen baseline.

These % reductions are:

  • 30% for dairy
  • 22% for dairy support
  • 20% for pigs
  • 5% for irrigated sheep beef or deer
  • 2% for dryland sheep, beef or deer
  • 7% for arable
  • 5% for fruit, viticulture or vegetables
  • 0% for any other land uses.

What are the good management practice nitrogen loss rates to be achieved in Selwyn Te Waihora?

In accordance with Policy 11.4.15 in the Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP), within the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment a farm's good management practice nitrogen loss rate is determined by:

  1. The type of farming activity; and
  2. The drainage characteristics of the soil; and
  3. The climatic conditions and topography of the property; and
  4. The type of irrigation system used (if any); and
  5. Whether the practices set out in Schedule 24 have been fully adopted.

This level of practice is applied to the farm's baseline land use (2009-2013). 

When are the good management practice nitrogen loss rates to be met?

The good management practice nitrogen loss rate for a farm's baseline land use is to be met from 1 January 2017. 

What is the threshold from which further reductions are required?

Further reductions for farms with a nitrogen loss greater than 15 kgN/ha/yr in Selwyn Te Waihora are made from the good management practice nitrogen loss rate for a farm's baseline land use. 

Why are the good management practice nitrogen loss rates for Selwyn Te Waihora not the same as in Plan Change 5?

While Plan Change 5 (PC5) introduced a definition of the term “Good Management Practice” (GMP) it does not apply in the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment.

The architecture of the LWRP means sub-regional rules prevail over region wide rules.

The rules for the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment (PC1) require compliance with Schedule 24 and the other factors in Policy 13.4.15 respectively, not compliance with the GMP definition introduced by PC5. 

The definition of “Good Management Practice” introduced by Plan Change 5 also has each word capitalised to indicate a difference; in PC1 the phrase is in lower case.

The introductory text of the notified version of PC5 also stated submissions lodged on Plan Change 5 could not seek to amend the provisions in PC1 If the intent of Plan Change 5 had been to change the PC1 thresholds from which reductions were to be made, then the catchment load and percentage reductions would have been recalculated and changes made to the PC1 policies accordingly. 

How is a good management practice nitrogen loss rate for baseline land to be determined?

A Nitrogen Baseline (2009-13) OVERSEER® file for a farm is to be prepared. This will however need to reflect the minimum level of farm practices as contained in Policy11.4.15.

This means the modelling of a farms nitrogen baseline needs to reflect the type of farming activity, the drainage characteristics of soil, climatic considerations and topography, the type of irrigation system used and the practices in Schedule 24.

The information below outlines the minimum standard to be reflected in Nitrogen Baseline (2009-13) files and provides advice on how file can be adjusted to reflect the minimum. 

Irrigation

Minimum

Schedule 24 states irrigation application[1] needs to reflect use of soil moisture monitoring[2], a soil water budget, or an irrigation scheduling calculator.

The data inputted into OVERSEER® will therefore need to reflect one of these irrigation management techniques while also reflecting the type of irrigation system used[3].

The minimum practice for irrigation management accepted by the Council is outlined in Process for inputting irrigation management into Overseer (PDF File, 245.42KB).

This reflects an irrigation scheduling calculator approach with further refinements in accordance with Policies 4.65, 4.66, 11.4.15 and 13.4.15 to reflect:

  1. the monthly and annual amount of water required based on the irrigation system used; and
  2. the annual amount of water that was available as detailed in the relevant water permit(s).

Overseer file adjustment

Fertiliser and Effluent Management - All Systems

Minimum

Schedule 24 states: 

A fertiliser is applied in accordance with the Code of Practice for Nutrient Management [2007]; and either:

(a) the Spreadmark Code of Practice [Feb 2014]; or

(b) With spreading equipment that is maintained and user-calibrated to Spreadmark Code of Practice [Feb 2014] standards.

 Collected Animal Effluent:

(i) All collection, storage and treatment systems for animal effluent installed or replaced after 1 January 2014 meet the Dairy NZ Farm Dairy Effluent Design Standard and Code of Practice [2013].

(ii) The animal effluent disposal system application separation distances, depth, uniformity and intensity are self-checked annually in accordance with Section 4 ‘Land Application’ in the Dairy NZ guideline ‘A Farmer’s Guide To Managing Farm Dairy Effluent – A Good Practice Guide For Land Application Systems, Version 1 – Feb 2013’. 

The minimum practice Fertiliser and Effluent Management accepted by the Council shall, therefore, reflect the practices above and relevant effluent consent conditions at the time.  

[1] Clause b(iii).

[2] Soil moisture monitoring is defined in Schedule 24 as meaning “methods of monitoring soil moisture that uses volumetric or tension based methodology.

[3] Consistent with policies 11.4.15 and 13.4.13

Consents and Supporting Tools

Nutrient Modelling

Get your Nutrient Budgets done, or at least be on the list.

Find yourself a trusted nutrient management advisor that will help you understand how to make your budget work for you.

Talk to your industry sector representative, fertilizer representative or a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor.

You will need:

  • A Nitrogen Nitrogen Baseline if your losses are more than 15 kilograms/hectare/year, or
  • A nutrient budget showing your proposed losses if your losses are less than 15 kilograms/hectare/year
  • operative as a sufficient indicator of a long-term average. This is best calculated using OVERSEER®.

Nutrient Budget Info

NCheck

NCheck helps you determine your farm's nitrogen loss rate and whether consent is required. It can also be used in the consent process by some land uses.

NCheck    User guide

OverseerFM®

Overseer is required for most resource consent applications, where NCheck is not an option.

Farm Environmental Plans

You will need to prepare a Farm Environment Plan (FEP).

There are lots of approved Farm Environment Plan templates to choose from. Talk to your Industry sector representative about your options and find out how they can help.

FEP Templates and Info

Good Management Practices

Who can prepare a Farm Environment Plan?

Farmers can prepare their own Farm Environment Plan. However, assistance from a professional advisor or other persons with experience in environmental management within farming systems and developing a Farm Environment Plan is recommended. 

Is there a template for a Farm Environment Plan I can use?

There are many industry templates than have been approved for use by Environment Canterbury. Contact your local industry representative or Environment Canterbury Customer Services to find out more. Find more about the approved templates

Selwyn Te Waihora Farming Activities Map

You can access lots of useful information to build your Farm Environment Plan and for your consent application by accessing Canterbury Maps.

Canterbury Maps  

Resource Consents

If you require a resource consent:

You can get a free one hour pre-application consultation.

To arrange this please contact our customer services team.

Calling from Christchurch (03) 353-9007

Calling from any other area 0800 324 636

Resource consents

Download your Greater than 15 kilograms/hectare/year Application Form and Planning Assessment

Download your Less than 15 kilograms/hectare/year Application Form and Planning Assessment

How much will the resource consent cost?

Costs will be based on actual processing costs of each application. The size of the initial deposit is set in the Environment Canterbury annual plan. 

A deposit of $2350 is required. At the end of the process, you will receive a refund or a bill of the difference between actual costs and the deposit. 

What information do I need to include with a consent application?

If your nitrogen loss is less than or equal to 15kg/ha/yr you will need to have:

  • A completed consent application form; and
  • A Farm Environment Plan (FEP) which fulfils the requirements of Schedule 7 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan; and
  • Information on your current or proposed nitrogen loss using Overseer® or NCheck (demonstrating that your nitrogen loss is, or will be 15kgN/ha/yr or less.

If your nitrogen loss is greater than 15kg N/ha/yr:

  • A completed consent application form; and
  • A Farm Environment Plan which fulfils the requirements of Schedule 7 of the Land & Water Regional Plan; and
  • Information on your nitrogen baseline using OVERSEER® (or an equivalent model approved by the Chief Executive of Environment Canterbury).

Who can prepare my resource consent application?

Environment Canterbury has developed application forms (CON508 and CON509) that are designed to be completed by farmers.

Form 508 is designed for properties with nitrogen loss of 15kg N/ha/yr or less.

Form 509 is designed for those with nitrogen loss greater than 15kgN/ha/yr.

Forms are available on our website or contact Customer Services on (03) 353 9007 or toll free on 0800 324 636.

You can however put together your own application.

Will I receive a nitrogen limit as part of my consent?

Farms leaching more than 15kg N/ha/yr

Within the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment farming activities leaching more than 15kg N/ha/yr will receive an initial nitrogen discharge limit not exceeding the nitrogen baseline for their property,

From 2022, they will be subject to further percentage reductions in nitrogen losses. 

Farms leaching 15kg N/ha/yr or less

Within the catchment there is flexibility provided for farming activities leaching 15kg N/ha/yr or less to increase up to 15kg N/ha/yr. As a result these farming activities are able to choose whether to receive a specific nitrogen discharge limit or not.

If you choose not to have a nitrogen discharge limit you will be required to keep records to demonstrate, to Environment Canterbury on request, that your nitrogen losses do not exceed 15kg /ha/yr.

Alternatively you may elect to receive a nitrogen discharge limit of 15kg N/ha/yr or a limit that reflects a proposed or your current land use modelled with OVERSEER® or NCheck (not exceeding 15kg /ha/yr at time apply for consent). 

OVERSEER® is continually being updated to improve the model and incorporate the latest scientific research.

This means that a nitrogen loss calculated using the OVERSEER® or NCheck can change when new versions are released, even if a farming activity has not changed.

Having a nitrogen discharge limit based on your current or proposed nitrogen loss rate, means that you will still be compliant if a change in OVERSEER® or NCheck results in your nitrogen loss exceeding 15 kg/ha as the Limit will be written so it updates with changes to OVERSEER®.

Can I use NCheck instead of OVERSEER®?

In the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment you can use NCheck to help you establish whether your nitrogen losses are over 15kg N/ha/yr and you need a land use consent to farm. 

If your nitrogen loss calculation is 15kg N/ha/yr or less, but you need a land use consent because you are in the phosphorus and sediment risk area or the lake area to the Cultural Landscape Values Management Area you may use NCheck to demonstrate your nitrogen loss calculation or proposed nitrogen losses do not exceed 15kg /ha/yr at the time apply for consent.

There is no restriction to NCheck’s use over time. You will need to continue to use NCheck for your Farm Environment Plan audits.

If your nitrogen loss calculation is greater than 15kg N/ha/yr, NCheck has been approved for use in the short term until 2022 for certain Arable and Horticultural farmers to prepare a Nitrogen Baseline.

View NCheck’s approved.

How will the consent be monitored?

The primary way your farming activity consent will be monitored will be through auditing of the Farm Environment Plan.

Your first audit will be required 12 months after your consent is granted.

The frequency of subsequent audits (and follow up by Environment Canterbury compliance staff if necessary) will be based on your audit grade.

For further information on Farm Environment Plan Auditing see the FEP Audits page.

 

Key Dates

Selwyn Waihora area

Now

If you require a consent, apply now.

Fill in the consent application form, and ensure your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets are in order. Contact customer services to arrange an appointment.

Farm Environment Plan Audit

Within one year of getting your consent you will need an audit of your Farm Environment Plan. View a list of registered Farm Environment Plan Auditors

2022

Further Reductions by 2022 

All farms (with losses over 15 kg/ha/yr) in the Selwyn Te Waihora area will need to make further reductions beyond what can be expected by implementing Good Management Practices on the farm.  

Use your Farm Environment Plan and Nutrient Budgets to help you plan those reductions.

Other rules on farm
View the Farmers Guide to Permitted Activities in Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (PDF File, 777.74KB).  Please note, that for some activities, sub-regional rules apply.
Stock Exclusion

What’s prohibited?

Farmed cattle, deer or pigs having access to the bed of a river where the following sites are mapped:

  • Īnanga spawning habitat and salmon spawning sites
  • Community drinking water protection zones
  • waterways 1000m upstream of a freshwater bathing site
  • the bed or banks of a spring-fed plains river

What kind of stock access requires a resource consent?

A consent is required for any access by intensively farmed stock to any river over 1m wide or 10cm deep or to a wetland.

Intensively farmed stock are considered to be:

  • Cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break-feeding of winter feed crops
  • Dairy cattle, of any class, including cows, whether dry or milking, and whether on irrigated land or not or
  • Farmed pigs.

What can be done without a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted access

Other stock (not intensively farmed) are allowed to access rivers and wetlands without consent if it does not result in:

  • Pugging or de-vegetation that exposes bare earth in the bed or banks
  • A conspicuous change in clarity or colour of the water outside the mixing zone
  • Cattle standing in any lake located within a Lake Zone, any lake classified as a High Naturalness Waterbody, or any lake located outside the Hill and High Country Area.

Resources

Download a copy of the Stock Exclusion Fact Sheet.

How is the bed of a braided river defined for stock exclusion?

river is defined as a continually or intermittently flowing body of fresh water; and includes a stream and modified watercourse; but does not include any artificial watercourse (including an irrigation canal, water supply race, canal for the supply of water for electricity power generation, and farm drainage canal). 

A braided river is a river that at some point in its length flows in multiple, mobile channels across a gravel floodplain.  For the purposes of Environment Canterbury’s stock exclusion rules, the bed (including the banks) of a braided river is limited to the wetted channels, any gravel islands, the gravel margins, and the outer edge of any flood protection vegetation or where no flood protection vegetation exists, the lesser of:

  • The distance from the outer gravel margin to land that was cultivated or was in crop or pasture prior to 5 September 2015; or
  • 10m landward of the outer gravel margin as measured at any time, except that if a stopbank exists then the stopbank does not form part of the bed.

There is an exception to these conditions for stock crossing points (please contact Customer Services for more information)

What is a wetland?

Wetlands are defined in the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan as coastal wetlands, wetlands which are part of a river, stream or lake; and natural ponds, swamps, marshes, fens, bogs, seeps, brackish areas, mountain wetlands, and other naturally wet areas that support an indigenous ecosystem of plants and animals specifically adapted to living in wet conditions and provide a habitat for wildlife. It excludes:

  • wet pasture or where water temporarily ponds after rainfall;
  • artificial wetlands used for wastewater or storm water treatment;
  • artificial farm dams, drainage canals and detention dams; and
  • reservoirs for firefighting, domestic or community water supply. 

What is Wet Pasture?

The dictionary (Merriam-Webster) defines pasture as “plants (such as grass) grown for feeding especially of grazing animals / land or a plot used for grazing / the feeding of livestock”.

This definition links the purpose for which the grass is grown, with the feeding of grazing animals. This draws a distinction between grass that has been grown (introduced) for the purpose of feeding, to that which is not being grown but nevertheless, would be suitable for grazing animals to feed on.

Essentially, wet pasture is grass being grown for the purpose of feeding grazing animals.

The following factors, either individually or in combination, can be used as a starting point for on-site discussions:

  • Is the grass being actively grazed by farm animals?
  • Is the land being deliberately managed and actively maintained (includes fertiliser use, cultivation, mowing etc.) for the purpose of growing grass for grazing by farm animals?
  • Is there a predominance of exotic or introduced grass? (Pockets of wetland plant species may occur throughout areas of wet pasture and will need to be managed appropriately).
  • The grass has been (and is still being) actively maintained for grazing by farm animals since September 2015? (This is the operative date of the LWRP).
Silage Pits

What silage pits do not require a resource consent?

The use of a silage pit or stockpiling decaying matter such as composting, as long as:

  • the stockpile/pit is less than 20m3 volume
  • any liquid that drains from stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • Any decaying organic matter does not originate from an industrial or trade process.

Or, if larger than 20m3:

  • the stockpile is not within 50m of a surface water body, bore, property boundary, the Coastal Marine Area, or a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone
  • any liquid that drains from the stockpile does not enter a surface water body
  • the decaying organic matter doesn’t originate from an industrial or trade process

What silage pits need a resource consent?

A silage pit which cannot meet the conditions above will require a resource consent.

Note: These rules do not apply to bailed silage.

Offal Pits

What kind of offal pit requires a resource consent?

Any offal pit which cannot meet the conditions below.

What can be done without requiring a resource consent?

Conditions for permitted activity:

The pit is:

  • 50m3 or smaller
  • is designed to prevent surface runoff from entering the pit
  • is designed to prevent animals from entering the pit

And the pit must not be located:

  • within 100m of a surface water body, a bore used for water abstraction, the boundary of the site, or the Coastal Marine Area
  • within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1
  • within the Christchurch Groundwater Protection Zone
  • onto or into land listed as an archaeological site
  • outside of a rural area

And:

  • The dead animals or animal parts were produced on the property
  • Must have at least 3m of soil or sand between the offal and the seasonal high water table
  • Only 1 pit per 100 hectares per year
  • When pit is filled to within 0.5m of surface, or no longer used, the contents must be covered with at least 0.5m of soil, or the pit is covered with an impermeable lid
  • The pit does not cause an offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property
  • Offal not completely covered with impermeable material or soil is located more than 150m from any sensitive activity not located on the property i.e. homes, sports ground, churches, beaches.
  • Any adverse effects on mahinga kai, wāhi tapu or wāhi taonga within the Cultural Landscape/Values Management Area.

Alternatively, where a dead animal cannot be disposed of in accordance with the above, the use of land to bury a single dead animal is permitted as long as:

  • the dead animal was produced on the property
  • the burial pit does not contain water, and the dead animal is immediately covered by enough soil or plant material to prevent odour or other nuisance
  • the burial site is at least 50m from any surface water body, bore or property boundary
  • No adverse effects on mahinga kai, wāhi tapu or wāhi toanga within Cultural Landscape Values Management Area (CLVMA)
Outdoor Burning
Looking to burn some waste or crop stubble on your property?  Visit our outdoor burning page and make sure you comply with our regional rules.
Domestic and Stock Water Use on Farms and Lifestyle Blocks
See the factsheets below for information on taking water for domestic or stock drinking water purposes and for water use on lifestyle blocks.
  • Domestic and Stock Water Factsheet (https://www.canterburywater.farm/assets/6530-RESC-Domestic-and-Stock-Water-FactsheetUpdate-FEB2018-03.pdf)
  • Water use for Lifestyle Blocks (https://www.canterburywater.farm/assets/6530-RESC-Water-For-Lifestyle-Brochure-UPDATE-Feb2018-03.pdf)
Biodiversity Tool

There is a new prototype tool for on-farm biodiversity assessments.

Use the online tool to find out how biodiversity-friendly your farm actions are.

You can use the tool to:

  • assess the effectiveness of your current farm actions; and
  • explore the likely impact of changing those actions.

The tool includes 43 actions considered important for New Zealand farmland biodiversity management and reports on the impact for 10 biodiversity groups plus overall farmland biodiversity.

Responsibilities for water consent holders

Water taken from ground water and surface water sources enables our economy to thrive year-round. To ensure that water is used responsibly and that it continues to be a plentiful resource, consent holders have several responsibilities to be aware of.

Download the Responsibilities for Water Consent Holders (PDF File, 152.1KB) or read the information under the tabs below. 

Consent Responsibilities
Careful use of the water resource is something that Environment Canterbury takes very seriously. 
It is your responsibility to meet the terms of your consent.
You can do this by ensuring you supply your water data when it is due and by avoiding taking more water than is allowed under your resource consent (including taking water when rivers are on restriction).
What do I have to do?

As a consent holder, you are responsible for:

  • Compliance with all your consent conditions.
  • Ensuring all water takes over 5 litres per second have a verified water meter and data logger installed which is continuously recording actual daily water use.
  • Only taking water according to the specified volumes of your consent, including maximum flow rates, annual volumes and changes in permitted levels during periods of restriction.
  • Submitting actual water use data daily via telemetry, or annually by 31 July each year.
Monitoring your water use
Your water takes are monitored through automated systems as well as proactive desktop monitoring, and site inspections.
During the irrigation season you’re likely to see Resource Management Officers out and about checking on water takes.
Minimum flow restrictions

Many resource consents contain a condition limiting the taking of water when a river or waterway is on restriction. As the consent holder, it is your responsibility to understand your minimum flow conditions by checking online.

If minimum flows have been reached, you must restrict your water take in accordance with your consent condition. You must also report any errors or any breaches that you observe.

Manual shut off?

If you have an irrigation device that requires a manual shut off, and a water restriction starts at midnight, you no longer have to get up at midnight to turn off your irrigator.

Instead, you can continue to irrigate until as late as 9am even though technically your water take is on restriction from midnight. This enables you to safely get out and turn off the device anytime between midnight and 9am.

If you choose to do this, then when the irrigation restriction ceases, you must not turn your irrigation on again until the time you turned it off.

For example, if you turned your device off at 6am on a restriction day, you must wait until 6am on a non-restriction day to turn it on.

Information on irrigation restrictions

Environment Canterbury’s website and customer service centre are the only places to find irrigation restriction information.

The Irrigation Restriction webpage contains up to date irrigation restrictions for your area, and relating to your consent (search for ‘irrigation’ at ecan.govt.nz).

This website is updated between 4pm and 7pm each day, with the restrictions being effective from 9am the following day.

You can also call customer services.

Fish screens

A fish screen is a structure intended to harmlessly divert fish away from water takes used for irrigation, stock-water, community supplies or hydro-electric power generation.

If you have a water take that requires a fish screen, you can find out more about their efficiency, and how they are monitored.

Weather - planning ahead

Plan your water use for the coming months by using NIWA’s useful Seasonal Climate Outlook. Careful planning can ensure that your water take doesn’t run out in the hot dry months.

To see the latest Seasonal Climate Outlook, go to NIWA.

Water use groups

Working with your neighbours year-round can provide benefits when water is restricted. As part of a water user group, consent holders can share water during times of restriction.

Members of water user groups each have existing consents to take water, and collectively manage the water resource allocated to them, during times of restriction.

Backflow prevention

Many farmers use their irrigation systems for fertigation. If you do so, you must have a backflow preventer so that contaminants cannot enter the groundwater.

Your backflow preventer must be tested annually, and a copy of the test certificate sent to Environment Canterbury. Any backflow preventer which fails the test must be repaired or replaced and then re-tested.

Find out which backflow preventers are recommended, and read all about the requirements by searching for ‘backflow prevention’.

Key Contacts 

Zone Manager

Andy Barbati  Andy.Barbati@ecan.govt.nz  027 554 4007

Talk to your zone

Mananui Ramsden — Cultural Land Management Advisor —  Kaitohutohu Tikanga Whenua  mananui.ramsden@ecan.govt.nz  027 531 8842

Sylvia McAslan — Land Management Advisor  sylvia.mcaslan@ecan.govt.nz  0800 324 636

Johannes Welsch — zone Lead  johannes.welsch@ecan.govt.nz  0800 324 636

Stacey Looser — Resource Management Officer  stacey.looser@ecan.govt.nz  027 571 3716

Trinity White — Resource Management Officer  trinity.white@ecan.govt.nz  027 578 0947

Katie Nagy — Resource Management Officer  katie.nagy@ecan.govt.nz  027 205 6791

Angela Burton — Resource Management Officer  angela.burton@ecan.govt.nz  027 272 8293

Ellen Williamson — Land Management Biodiversity Advisor  ellen.williamson@ecan.govt.nz  (03) 367 7396

Talk to your scheme

Central Plains Water — Fiona Crombie  fcrombie@cpwl.co.nz  027 207 6499

Fereday Irrigation — Rowan McMath  feredays@farmside.co.nz  021 655 547

Lynton Irrigation — Brian Gallagher  Brian@dairyholdings.co.nz  027 450 2470

Northbank Irrigation — Gary McGregor  Gary@dairyholdings.co.nz  027 434 6558