Supplementary Order Paper No 519

No 519

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Resource Management Amendment Bill

Proposed amendments

Hon David Parker, in Committee, to move the following amendments:

New clause 7A

After clause 7 (page 7, after line 13), insert:

7A Section 36 amended (Administrative charges)

After section 36(1)(cc), insert:

(cd)

charges payable by the farm operator of a farm that is required to have a certified freshwater farm plan, for the carrying out by the local authority of its functions under section 217J:

New clause 35B

After clause 35A (page 20, after line 2), insert:

35B New Parts 9A and 9B inserted

After Part 9, insert:

Part 9A Freshwater farm plans

217A Purpose

The purpose of this Part is to better control the adverse effects of farming on freshwater and freshwater ecosystems within specified districts, regions, or parts of New Zealand through the use of certified freshwater farm plans.

217B Interpretation

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,—

arable land use means the use of land to grow any of the following crops for harvest:

(a)

grain cereal, legumes, or pulse grain:

(b)

herbage seed:

(c)

oilseed:

(d)

maize grain, maize silage, cereal silage, or mangels:

(e)

crops grown for seed multiplication:

(f)

a crop prescribed in regulations made under section 217M(1)(a)

auditor means a person who—

(a)

is appointed under section 217K; and

(b)

meets the criteria prescribed in regulations made under section 217M(1)(h)

certified freshwater farm plan means a freshwater farm plan certified under section 217G, as amended from time to time in accordance with section 217E(2) or (3)

certifier means a person who—

(a)

is appointed under section 217K; and

(b)

meets the criteria prescribed in regulations made under section 217M(1)(h)

farm means a farm where all or part of the farm is—

(a)

arable land use; or

(b)

horticultural land use; or

(c)

pastoral land use; or

(d)

other agricultural land use prescribed in regulations made under section 217M(1)(b); or

(e)

any combination of the above

farm operator means the person with ultimate responsibility for the operation of a farm

horticultural land use means the use of land to grow food or beverage crops for human consumption (other than arable crops), or flowers for commercial supply

pastoral land use means the use of land for the grazing of livestock

regulations means regulations made under section 217M

relevant regional council means the regional council (as defined in section 2) in whose jurisdiction the farm is located

specified instrument means any designation, national environmental standard, national planning standard, regulations made under Part 14, resource consent, rule in a plan, or water conservation order.

217C Application of this Part

(1)

This Part applies only—

(a)

to a region, district, or part of New Zealand specified in an Order in Council under this section; and

(b)

on and from the date specified in the Order in Council.

(2)

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, determine—

(a)

that this Part applies to a specified district, region, or part of New Zealand; and

(b)

the date on which this Part applies to that district, region, or part of New Zealand.

(3)

Before making a recommendation under subsection (2), the Minister must—

(a)

be satisfied that regulations are necessary to achieve the purpose of this Part in the specified district, region or part of New Zealand; and

(b)

consult the Minister of Agriculture.

217D Farm must have certified freshwater farm plan if it meets land use threshold

(1)

A farm must have a certified freshwater farm plan if—

(a)

20 or more hectares of the farm is arable land use; or

(b)

5 or more hectares of the farm is horticultural land use; or

(c)

20 or more hectares of the farm is pastoral land use; or

(d)

a prescribed area of the farm is other agricultural land use prescribed in regulations made under section 217M(1)(b); or

(e)

20 or more hectares of the farm is a combination of any 2 or more of the land uses described above.

(2)

A certified freshwater farm plan applies to the entire farm.

217E Main duties of farm operators

(1)

A farm operator of a farm that is required to have a certified freshwater farm plan must—

(a)

prepare a freshwater farm plan in accordance with this Part and regulations; and

(b)

submit the plan to a certifier for certification; and

(c)

ensure that the farm operates in compliance with the certified freshwater farm plan; and

(d)

arrange for the farm to be audited in accordance with this Part and regulations for compliance with the certified freshwater farm plan.

(2)

A farm operator must keep the certified freshwater farm plan fit for purpose by—

(a)

amending the plan as necessary to reflect any changes in the farm; and

(b)

amending the plan as necessary to comply with this Part and regulations.

(3)

A farm operator must amend and recertify a certified freshwater farm plan if any circumstances prescribed by regulations apply.

217F Contents of freshwater farm plan

A freshwater farm plan must—

(a)

identify any adverse effects of activities carried out on the farm on freshwater and freshwater ecosystems; and

(b)

specify requirements that—

(i)

are appropriate for the purpose of avoiding, remedying, or mitigating the adverse effects of those activities on freshwater and freshwater ecosystems; and

(ii)

are clear and measurable; and

(c)

demonstrate how any outcomes prescribed in regulations are to be achieved; and

(d)

comply with any other requirements in regulations; and

(e)

comply with section 217L.

217G Certification of freshwater farm plan

(1)

The farm operator must, within the prescribed time frame, submit a freshwater farm plan to a certifier.

(2)

The certifier must certify a freshwater farm plan if the certifier is satisfied that the plan complies with the requirements in section 217F.

(3)

The certifier must, as soon as practicable, notify the relevant regional council—

(a)

that the freshwater farm plan has been certified; and

(b)

the date on which it was certified.

(4)

This section applies, with any necessary modifications, to a certified freshwater farm plan that is required by regulations to be amended and recertified.

217H Audit of farm for compliance with certified freshwater farm plan

(1)

A farm operator must—

(a)

arrange, within the prescribed time frame, for an auditor to audit the farm for compliance with the certified freshwater farm plan; and

(b)

arrange for further audits to be carried out at the frequency required by regulations.

(2)

The audit must be completed in the manner prescribed in regulations.

(3)

The farm operator must provide the auditor with—

(a)

an up-to-date copy of the certified freshwater farm plan and any relevant information; and

(b)

any further information that the auditor reasonably requests for the purpose of the audit; and

(c)

reasonable access to the farm (or any part of it) for the purpose of any audit inspection.

(4)

After completing the audit, the auditor must—

(a)

provide the farm operator with a report of the auditor’s findings on whether the farm achieves compliance with the certified freshwater farm plan; and

(b)

if the auditor finds that the farm achieves compliance, provide that report to the relevant regional council.

(5)

If the auditor finds that the farm fails to achieve compliance with the certified freshwater farm plan,—

(a)

the auditor’s report—

(i)

must include reasons why the farm failed to achieve compliance; and

(ii)

specify reasonable time frames by which compliance must be achieved; and

(iii)

may include recommendations on how compliance may be achieved; and

(b)

the auditor must give the farm operator a reasonable opportunity to respond to the report; and

(c)

the auditor must, after the prescribed period has expired, provide the farm operator and the relevant regional council with a final report—

(i)

setting out the auditor’s findings (including the findings of the first report); and

(ii)

stating whether compliance was achieved; and

(iii)

including any recommendations from the auditor.

217I Functions of regional councils

(1)

For the purposes of this Part, a regional council has the following functions:

(a)

to enforce the observance of the requirements of this Part and regulations to the extent that their powers under this Act enables them to do so; and

(b)

to monitor compliance by farm operators with their duties under this Part and with any requirements in regulations; and

(c)

to receive notifications of freshwater farm plans that have been certified; and

(d)

to receive audit reports and related notifications from auditors.

(2)

A regional council may require a farm operator to produce a certified freshwater farm plan for inspection.

217J Records that must be kept by regional council

A regional council must keep and maintain, in relation to each farm in its jurisdiction, a record of—

(a)

whether the farm has a certified freshwater farm plan; and

(b)

the date the plan was last certified; and

(c)

the date the farm was last audited for compliance with the plan; and

(d)

any other information required by regulations.

217K Regional council must appoint certifiers and auditors

(1)

A regional council must—

(a)

appoint 1 or more certifiers; and

(b)

appoint 1 or more auditors.

(2)

A regional council may make an appointment under this section only if satisfied that criteria prescribed in regulations have been met.

217L Relationship between certified freshwater farm plan and specified instruments

(1)

A certified freshwater farm plan may contain a requirement that—

(a)

relates to an activity carried out on the farm (an activity) even if there is no similar requirement relating to that activity in a provision of a specified instrument:

(b)

restricts an activity more than a provision of a specified instrument.

(2)

However, if a provision of a specified instrument restricts an activity more than a requirement of a freshwater farm plan, the provision of the specified instrument prevails.

(3)

To avoid doubt, compliance with a requirement of a certified freshwater farm plan—

(a)

does not of itself authorise a person to undertake an activity:

(b)

may be specified or included as a requirement or condition in any specified instrument relating to an activity.

217M Regulations relating to freshwater farm plans

(1)

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, made on the recommendation of the Minister after consulting the Minister of Agriculture, make regulations that—

(a)

prescribe crops for the purpose of the definition of arable land use in section 217B:

(b)

prescribe agricultural land uses for the purpose of the definition of farm in section 217B:

(c)

prescribe the area of land described in section 217D(1)(d) (in relation to agricultural land use prescribed under paragraph (b)):

(d)

provide for the content of a freshwater farm plan, including (without limitation) specifying—

(i)

any requirements, including any actions, criteria, methods, or thresholds for the purpose of identifying, measuring, avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities carried out on the farm on freshwater and freshwater ecosystems; and

(ii)

outcomes that must be achieved for the purpose of avoiding, remedying, or mitigating those adverse effects on freshwater and freshwater ecosystems; and

(iii)

any other information that must be included in the plan for the purpose of this Part:

(e)

provide for the form and manner in which a freshwater farm plan must be certified, including (without limitation) prescribing—

(i)

time frames that must be complied with by the farm operator and certifier; and

(ii)

any fees payable by the farm operator or the manner of calculating those fees:

(f)

prescribe the circumstances in which a certified freshwater farm plan must be amended and recertified:

(g)

for the purpose of audits of farms for compliance with certified freshwater farm plans, prescribe—

(i)

the time frame by which a farm must be audited; and

(ii)

the frequency at which those audits must be carried out; and

(iii)

the manner in which an audit must be completed; and

(iv)

the period after which the auditor must provide their final report under section 217H(5)(c); and

(v)

any matters that an auditor must take into account when considering whether the farm achieves compliance with the certified freshwater farm plan; and

(vi)

any fees payable by the farm operator or the manner of calculating those fees:

(h)

prescribe criteria that apply to the appointment of a person as an auditor or certifier and their continuation in that role:

(i)

require auditors, certifiers, and farm operators to supply prescribed information to regional councils for the purpose of section 217I:

(j)

prescribe information that a regional council must keep in relation to farms in its jurisdiction:

(k)

prescribe infringement offences for the contravention of, or non-compliance with, a provision of this Part or of any regulations made under this section:

(l)

provide for any other matters that are contemplated by, or necessary for giving full effect to, this Part and for its due administration.

(2)

Regulations under this section may apply generally or to specified districts, regions, or parts of New Zealand.

(3)

Regulations under this section may incorporate material by reference under Schedule 1AA (which applies as if references in that schedule to a national environmental standard, national policy statement, or New Zealand coastal policy statement were references to regulations under this section).

Part 9B Effect of nitrogenous fertiliser on freshwater quality and freshwater ecosystems

217N Purpose of this Part

The purpose of this Part is to enable better monitoring of the actions being taken to improve freshwater quality and freshwater ecosystems, through the collection of sales information on nitrogenous fertiliser to inform freshwater management and planning under this Act.

217O Nitrogenous fertiliser defined

In this Part, nitrogenous fertiliser means fertiliser containing any nitrogenous substance (whether solid or fluid in form) applied to plants or soil as a source of nitrogen nutrition for plants, and with more than 5 % of nitrogen weight for weight.

217P Obligation to comply with regulations

If regulations made under section 217Q are in force, a person of a class specified in regulations must comply with any requirements in regulations relating to—

(a)

the collection of information relating to or arising from the sale and purchase of nitrogenous fertiliser; and

(b)

the provision of that information to the EPA, a regional council, a specified agency, or a specified person or class of persons.

217Q Regulations relating to sales information on nitrogenous fertiliser

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister after consulting the Minister of Agriculture, make regulations that—

(a)

require persons of a specified class to collect any of the following information relating to or arising from the sale and purchase of nitrogenous fertiliser:

(i)

the date of purchase:

(ii)

where the purchase took place:

(iii)

the name of the seller:

(iv)

the name of the purchaser:

(v)

the type of fertiliser purchased:

(vi)

the volume of fertiliser purchased:

(vii)

where the fertiliser is intended to be applied; and

(b)

prescribe how the information is to be collected; and

(c)

require persons who are required under paragraph (a) to collect the information to provide it to any 1 or more of the following:

(i)

the EPA:

(ii)

a regional council:

(iii)

a specified person or class of persons:

(iv)

a specified agency; and

(d)

specify the manner in which, and the frequency at which, that information is to be provided; and

(e)

allow the collection of personal information of a purchaser only if their purchase exceeds a prescribed volume of nitrogenous fertiliser.

Clause 70

Before clause 70(1) (page 29, after line 13), insert:

(1AA)

In section 360(1)(ba), after “paragraph (ho)”, insert “or section 217M(1)(k).

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper proposes amendments to the Resource Management Amendment Bill to enable new Parts 9A and 9B to be inserted into the Resource Management Act 1991.

The purpose of new Part 9A is to better control the adverse effects of farming on freshwater and freshwater ecosystems within specified districts, regions, or parts of New Zealand through the use of certified freshwater farm plans.

New Part 9A applies only to a region, district, or part of New Zealand specified in an Order in Council made under new section 217C on the recommendation of the Minister. Before recommending, the Minister must be satisfied it is necessary to achieve the purpose of new Part 9A in that region, district, or part of New Zealand and must consult the Minister of Agriculture.

Farms that meet specified land use thresholds must have a certified freshwater farm plan. The person with ultimate responsibility for the operation of the farm (the farm operator) must prepare the plan in accordance with new section 217F. The farm operator must submit the plan for certification by a certifier (who is appointed by the relevant regional council).

Once a freshwater farm plan is certified, the farm operator must ensure that the farm is operated in compliance with the plan. The farm operator must also arrange for the farm to be audited (as required by regulations) for compliance with the plan. It is intended that failure to comply with new Part 9A or regulations made under new section 217M will be specified as an infringement offence in regulations.

The purpose of new Part 9B is to enable better monitoring of the actions being taken to improve freshwater quality and freshwater ecosystems, through the collection of sales information on nitrogenous fertiliser to inform freshwater management and planning under this Act. Regulations may be made requiring persons of a specified class to—

  • collect prescribed information relating to the sale and purchase of nitrogenous fertiliser; and

  • provide that information to the EPA, a regional council, a specified agency, or a specified person or class of persons.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Ministry for the Environment is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Supplementary Order Paper. The disclosure statement provides access to information about any material policy changes to the Bill and identifies any new significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill as amended.

Regulatory impact statement

The Ministry for the Environment produced regulatory impact statements on 6 May 2020 and 10 June 2020 to help inform the new policy decisions taken by the Government relating to the contents of this SOP.