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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.10 Lake Taupo Catchment » 3.10.5 Implementation Methods – Land Use and Discharge Controls

3.10.5 Implementation Methods – Land Use and Discharge Controls

Introduction to the Rules
The purpose of these rules is to implement the policies that adopt nitrogen capping and offsetting to protect the water quality of Lake Taupo. The rules manage existing and new nitrogen leaching activities either as permitted activities with standards, or as controlled activities that determine landowner nitrogen discharge allowances. The rules require that farmers obtain land use consents. Discharges of nitrogen arising from land use activities are authorised by a separate permitted activity rule.

Low nitrogen leaching activities
Low nitrogen leaching activities are permitted with standards (Rules 3.10.5.1 and 3.10.5.2). For low density farming (such as rural residential lots) stocking standards are provided on a per hectare basis. If these standards are not met, landowners must apply for a land use consent under the controlled activity rule (3.10.5.3). Non-farming activities are permitted under Rule 3.10.5.2.

Farming Activities 
Farming activities existing as at the date of notification of this Plan (9 July 2005) are allowed but require a resource consent under 3.10.5.3 controlled activity rule. A process called benchmarking is required under this rule, which determines nitrogen discharge allowances for farming activities through the application of a nutrient budgeting model called OVERSEER™ Farm information used to determine the nitrogen allowance will be sourced from the period of July 2001 to June 2005. This will determine the annual nitrogen allowance that property must adhere to. In recognition that farmers and Waikato Regional Council will need time to collate and analyse this information, consents are not expected to be granted for approximately two years after the rules are proposed. Thus, the rule states that it does not come into effect until 1 July 2007. The rule also states that ongoing nitrogen leaching management shall be undertaken through Nitrogen Management Plans.

Offsetting and Trading
Landowners have flexibility to increase or decrease nitrogen leaching through an offsetting mechanism in the rules. Increases in nitrogen leaching can only occur where there are corresponding decreases in nitrogen leaching elsewhere in the catchment. Overall, there must be no net increase in nitrogen leaching within the catchment. A nitrogen leaching activity such as pastoral farming may decide to reduce the amount of nitrogen leached, thus releasing nitrogen for use by another landowner who wishes to change to a higher nitrogen leaching activity (for example conversion of non-nitrogen fixing plantation forestry planted into unimproved land to lifestyle blocks). This flexibility to offset changes in nitrogen leaching is facilitated through the consent process and enables nitrogen to be traded between landowners. Offsetting is provided for as a controlled activity rule for existing farming activities (3.10.5.7) and also in Rule 3.10.5.8. The controlled activity Rule 3.10.5.8 authorises an increase in nitrogen leaching (subject to offsetting on another property), for land not being farmed when the Plan was notified. In such a case, the new land use must be authorised by permitted activity Rule 3.10.5.1 or controlled activity Rule 3.10.5.3.

Low nitrogen leaching activities such as lifestyle blocks, that either exist at the time of the notification of this Plan or are established under Rules 3.10.5.3 and 3.10.5.8, are not given the opportunity to enter into offsetting arrangements in the rules.

 

Summary of Rules

Land Uses and Discharges Activity Status
Low nitrogen leaching farming activities
(Rule 3.10.5.1)
Permitted (e.g. rural residential lots) if low stocking rate and fertiliser standards are met. Note: wastewater rules in 3.10.6 apply.
Nitrogen leaching non-farming activities 
(Rule 3.10.5.2)
Permitted (e.g. indigenous vegetation, forestry, existing golf courses)
Nitrogen leaching farming activities
(Rule 3.10.5.3)
Controlled (e.g. drystock, dairy farms and land with livestock that doesn’t meet rule 3.10.5.1) to establish Nitrogen Discharge Allowances for properties & Nitrogen Management Plans that ensure no increase in nitrogen leaching in the future UNLESS corresponding decreases in nitrogen leaching are achieved elsewhere in the catchment as an offset.
Flexibility for Maori Land
(Rule 3.10.5.4)
Controlled Provides a limited development allowance for Maori land of 2 kgN/ha/year above relevant deemed background leaching rates 
Flexibility for Non-Maori Land
(Rule 3.10.5.5)
Controlled Provides a limited development allowance for Non-Maori land of 2 kgN/ha/year above relevant deemed background leaching rates 
Part Sale of a Farm
(Rule 3.10.5.6)
Controlled Provides for division of benchmarked NDA upon the part sale of a farm
Nitrogen Trading (Offsetting)
(Rule 3.10.5.7)
Controlled Provides for nitrogen trading (offsetting) to occur
Nitrogen offsetting for new nitrogen leaching activities 
(Rule 3.10.5.8)
Controlled (e.g. first and second non-nitrogen fixing plantation forestry planted into unimproved land changing to rural residential) to enable increased nitrogen leaching where there is a corresponding decrease in nitrogen leaching elsewhere in the catchment as an offset.
Land use activities that don’t meet the rules
(Rule 3.10.5.9)
Non-complying
Associated discharges of nitrogen, effluent, and fertiliser
(Rule 3.10.5.10)
Permitted Authorises discharges of nitrogen, effluent, and fertiliser associated with the land use activities authorised by rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9 
Associated discharges to air
(Rule 3.10.5.11)
Permitted Authorises discharges to air associated with the land use activities authorised by rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9 
Deemed Leaching Rates
(Rule 3.10.5.12)
Establishes the relevant deemed leaching rates for landuse in the catchment.

 

3.10.5.1 Permitted Activity Rule – Low Nitrogen Leaching Farming Activities

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment that may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water:

  1. for farming activities which were existing as at the date of notification of this Rule (9 July 2005); and
    1. the land has not been subject to a consent pursuant to Rule 3.10.5.3, 3.10.5.6, 3.10.5.7, 3.10.5.8 or 3.10.5.9; or
    2. where the land has been subject to a consent pursuant to Rule 3.10.5.3, 3.10.5.6, 3.10.5.7, 3.10.5.8 or 3.10.5.9 and the land has a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance sufficient to allow for at least 8 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year for farming plus 3.5 kilograms of nitrogen per year for any advanced wastewater system in accordance with Rule 3.10.6.3 or 10 kilograms of nitrogen per year for any conventional wastewater system in accordance with Rule 3.10.6.4; or
  2. for land which was not used for farming activities at the date of notification of this Rule, and where any nitrogen increase has been authorised by a resource consent granted under Rule 3.10.5.7 or 3.10.5.8 and the land has a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance sufficient to allow for at least 8 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year for farming plus 3.5 kilograms of nitrogen per year for any advanced wastewater system in accordance with Rule 3.10.6.3 or 10 kilograms of nitrogen per year for any conventional wastewater system in accordance with Rule 3.10.6.4.

is a permitted activity if the following conditions are met:

Advisory Note:

  • This Rule in part provides for land that has either been leaching high nitrogen levels or has resource consent to do so, to convert to low leaching land use activities (e.g. lifestyle blocks, forestry, etc.).

 

    1. Where the land is not used to graze stock, no more than 75 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year shall be applied to the land. Where the land is used to graze stock, the maximum number of animals shall be equivalent to any one row of Table 3.10.5.1 below:

Table 3.10.5.1 – Stock Limits

Animal Type Maximum number of animals permitted per hectare Maximum number of animals permitted per 10 hectares
Dairy cow 0.55 5.5
Beef cattle 0.8 8
Calf 3.3 33
Horse 0.8 8
Sheep 7.7 77
Deer 3.3 33
Goat 10 100
Alpaca or Llama 3.3 33
Pig (free range) 2.5 25

 

  1. Progeny of animals grazed under condition a) (such as lambs and calves) are permitted provided that no additional feed is brought on to the property except feed that is supplied as per standard industry practice to meet animal welfare requirements during the period of weaning and stocking rates return to the stock limits outlined in condition a) between 1 April and 31 July each year.
  2. Non-grazing domestic animals including cats, dogs, chickens and ducks that are kept for domestic purposes are permitted and are not to be taken into account for the purposes of this rule.

and provided also that:
Where a land use is authorized as a permitted activity by this Rule, the subject land shall not be used to offset any nitrogen leaching increase elsewhere in the catchment.

Advisory Notes:

  • This Rule in part provides for land that has either been leaching high nitrogen levels or has resource consent to do so, to convert to low leaching land use activities (e.g. lifestyle blocks, forestry, etc.).
  • The area of land used to calculate animal density excludes any area of land used for buildings, lawns or gardens.
  • Wastewater systems must be authorised by the wastewater rules in section 3.10.6.
  • The application of 75 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year in a non-grazing situation, or grazing at the limits in Table 3.10.5.1 is equivalent to 8 kilograms per hectare per year nitrogen leaching rate.

3.10.5.2 Permitted Activity Rule – Nitrogen Leaching Non-Farming Activities

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment:

  1. Where the land was not used for farming activities at the date of notification of this Rule (9 July 2005); or
  2. Where a non-farming landuse activity is established after the date of notification of this Rule (9 July 2005) and involves no:
    1. nitrogen fertiliser applied to land (except that authorised in condition a), b) or c) of this rule); or
    2. animal grazing
  3. That is for planted production forestry including grazing of animals and cropping ancillary to that land use

that may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water is a permitted activity if the following standards, terms and conditions are met:

  1. Where the use of land is for planted production forestry:
    1. Spot application of nitrogen fertiliser in conjunction with planting shall not exceed 30 grams of nitrogen per tree.
    2. Broadcast application of nitrogen fertiliser at any time shall not exceed 240 kilograms per hectare of nitrogen per application.
    3. Broadcast application of nitrogen fertiliser shall not occur between 1 June and 31 August.
    4. A nutrient analysis of foliage must be used to plan fertiliser application and must be made available to the Waikato Regional Council upon request.
    5. Except where plantations are severely deficient (where visual symptoms of nitrogen deficiency are evident), broadcast application shall be made in conjunction with thinning and pruning operations.
    6. The application of nitrogen fertiliser shall not result in any avoidable direct application of fertiliser to any water body.
  2. Where the use of land is for erosion rehabilitation, nitrogen fertiliser may be applied during erosion area rehabilitation.
  3. Where the use of land is for domestic gardening (meaning gardening not undertaken for commercial purposes) nitrogen fertiliser may be applied to land at a rate no greater than the manufacturers’ recommendation.

and provided also that:

Where land use is authorised by this rule, the subject land shall not be used to offset any nitrogen leaching increase elsewhere in the catchment.

Advisory Notes

  • The nitrogen fertiliser application rates specified in Rule 3.10.5.2(a)(i) to (iii) are specific to the geology and soil conditions present in the Lake Taupo catchment.
  • Rule 5.1.5(n) relating to soil conservation and vegetation removal also applies to the activities covered under Rule 3.10.5.2.

3.10.5.3 Controlled Activity Rule – Nitrogen Leaching Farming Activities

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment for any farming activity existing as at the date of notification of this Rule (9 July 2005) that does not meet the conditions for permitted activities under Rule 3.10.5.1 and which may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water is a permitted activity until 1 July 2007, after which it will be a controlled activity, subject to the following conditions, standards and terms:

Standards, terms and conditions to be met by applicants to enable them to seek consent under this Rule:

Benchmarking in order to determine Nitrogen Discharge Allowance

  1. Benchmark data for a minimum of 12 consecutive months during the period July 2001 to June 2005 shall be submitted to Waikato Regional Council as part of any application for consent under this Rule. The benchmark data shall comprise the parameters and information contained in Table 3.10.5.3. The amount of nitrogen leached from farming activities shall be calculated by Waikato Regional Council’s Benchmarking Contractors using the OVERSEERTM Model Version 5.4.3 and the benchmark data. The nitrogen leached shall include any nitrogen arising from the application of farm animal effluent, pig farm effluent, feed pad effluent, stand-off pad effluent, and fertiliser onto land (those activities require authorisation under rules 3.5.5.1 to 3.5.5.5 and rule 3.9.4.11 outside of the Taupo catchment). The amount of nitrogen leached in the single best year (being the 12 consecutive months with the highest leaching value) over the July 2001 to June 2005 period shall be the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The specification of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance in kgN/ha/year and total kgN/year for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies as determined under standard and term a);
  2. The requirement for a Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies if the farm management practices represented by the benchmarking data referred to in standard and term a) are altered. The OVERSEERTM Model Version 5.4.3 shall be used to calculate the nitrogen leached from the land to which the controlled activity consent applies inclusive of the altered farm management practices and this shall form the basis of the NMP. The NMP shall demonstrate that the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities complies with the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance. The NMP shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council within 10 working days of the farm management practices being altered;
  3. The self monitoring, record keeping, information provision and site access requirements for the holders of resource consents required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Nitrogen Management Plan;
  4. The circumstances and timeframes under which the resource consent conditions may be reviewed, provided that any review of a consent condition specifying the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance shall only occur when regional plan provisions have been made operative which specify a new target for the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Taupo and which requires that target to be achieved by the reduction of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance specified in any resource consent;
  5. The duration of the resource consent;
  6. The circumstances under which resource consents granted under this Rule can be surrendered either in whole or part pursuant to s138 of the RMA.

Notification:
Notice of controlled activity applications received in accordance with this Rule does not need to be served if there are no leasehold interests applying to the land to which the application relates.

Table 3.10.5.3 – Guidance for Nitrogen Discharge Allowance

Information to be provided to enable benchmarking to occur
Identification of the land area (farm) to which the consent application relates.
A map or aerial photograph showing the different blocks within the farm.
Annual stocking rate (numbers, types and classes) including a breakdown by stock class for each month.
A description of the farm management practices used on each block including (where applicable):
  1. ground cover – pasture, crops, non-grazed areas (including forestry, riparian and tree areas)
  2. stock management – lambing/calving/fawning dates and percentages, any purchases and sales and associated dates, types and age of stock
  3. fertiliser management practices - types, quantities, rates of application and details of varying procedures for different blocks
  4. winter management of cattle grazed off – including the use of feed pads, grazing off or standoff pads
  5. crop management practices – area cultivated, method of cultivation, crop types, rotations, timing of sowing and harvesting, resulting use of crop, where and when it is fed out on farm or when it is exported and where to
  6. supplementary feed brought onto the farm - feed type, annual tonnage, dry matter content, feed quality, nitrogen content
  7. use of nitrification inhibitors and any other verifiable nitrogen leaching inhibitors

Advisory Note: Where any of the matters (a) to (g) have not been implemented on a particular block then that should be stated.
Copies of any available annual accounts to verify the above information.
Copies of any available invoices or receipts for purchases of stock, fertiliser, supplements imported or exported
Farm animal effluent, pig farm effluent, feed pad and stand-off pad effluent management including;
  1. area of land used for irrigation
  2. annual nitrogen loading rate and nitrogen load rate per application
  3. instantaneous application rate
Clean water irrigation in terms of areas, rates and systems

 

Advisory Notes:
Notification
If there are leasehold interests applying to the land to which an application relates, then the tests for service in the RMA 1991 apply.

Nitrogen Discharge Allowance

  • Nitrogen Discharge Allowance means the maximum amount of nitrogen allowed to leach from land, as determined in accordance with Rule 3.10.5.3, Rule 3.10.5.6, 3.10.5.7, 3.10.5.8 or 3.10.5.9. A Nitrogen Discharge Allowance will be specified as a condition of any consent granted under this rule and will be described as the kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year and the total kilograms (or tonnage) of nitrogen per year permitted to be leached from the land to which the consent relates, each year.

Benchmark data

  • Benchmark data means the parameters and information for farming activities during the benchmarking period under Rule 3.10.5.3 a) listed in Table 3.10.5.3. In the absence of benchmark information being provided the WRC will use appropriate default numbers for any necessary inputs to the OVERSEERTM model (such default numbers will generally be around 75% of normal catchment average values for those inputs).

OVERSEERTM Model

  • The OVERSEERTM Model is a nutrient management computer model produced by AgResearch, FertResearch and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which provides estimates of the annual fate of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients in kilograms per hectare per year.

Nitrogen Management Plan

  • The benchmark data for the selected best year comprises the initial Nitrogen Management Plan. A separate Nitrogen Management Plan is not required unless the benchmarked farming practices are to be altered. In that case a separate Nitrogen Management Plan must be prepared showing that the proposed farming activities will comply with the farm’s benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance, by using the Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM Model and relevant parameters listed in Table 3.10.5.3. A farm’s Nitrogen Management Plan thereafter remains valid until such time as the consent holder again proposes a change to farming practices, such that the new farming practices are no longer consistent with the existing Nitrogen Management Plan. At that point a revised Nitrogen Management Plan is required, using Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM Model, to again demonstrate that the changed farming practices will not result in the breach of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the farm.

Duration

  • Policy 3 (c) provides guidance regarding the duration of the resource consent.

Monitoring and Compliance

  • Farm management practices will be monitored to ensure that the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies, has not been exceeded.

Offsetting Nitrogen

  • Once a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance has been determined for the land to which the consent applies, any further increase in nitrogen leaching must be offset by a corresponding and equivalent decrease in nitrogen on one or more other properties in the Lake Taupo catchment. The increase shall be secured by way of a change to the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance.
  • If the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land to which the consent applies is to be changed, either through the sale or purchase of a nitrogen discharge entitlement, or through the sale or purchase of part of a farm, the consent holder will first need to either apply for a change to the consented Nitrogen Discharge Allowance pursuant to s127 of the RMA or seek a new consent under Rules 3.10.5.6 or 3.10.5.7.

3.10.5.4 Controlled Activity Rule – Development of Ngati Tuwharetoa Undeveloped and Forested Land

The use of land, in the Lake Taupo catchment which may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water is a controlled activity subject to the following conditions, standards and terms:

  1. All of the land subject to the application is Maori land within the meaning of Section 4 of the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993;
  2. This Rule shall only enable increases in nitrogen leaching in respect of that part of the land subject to the application which as at 9 July 2005 comprised unimproved land or non-nitrogen fixing plantation forest;
  3. All or part of the land subject to the application is proposed to be developed in a manner that may result in an increase in nitrogen leaching from that land;
  4. The total cumulative amount of additional nitrogen leached from all land authorised for development under this rule shall not exceed 11,000 kilograms per annum by 30 June 2017;
  5. The average amount of nitrogen leaching from that part of the land subject to the application, once the proposed development is in place, shall not exceed 2 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year plus the relevant deemed nitrogen leaching rate defined in Rule 3.10.5.12 for unimproved land or non-nitrogen fixing plantation forest;
  6. No resource consent or combination of resource consents under this Rule shall allow an increase in average nitrogen leaching in respect of any land that exceeds 2 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year;
  7. The potential to increase the amount of nitrogen able to leach from the land subject to the application above the deemed nitrogen leaching rate shall not be transferable across land boundaries;
  8. Where the nitrogen leaching authorised by this rule is for the discharge of domestic wastewater effluent (including grey water but not stormwater) from any new conventional wastewater systems onto or into land, standards, terms and conditions (a) to (n) of Rule 3.10.6.4 shall apply;
  9. Where the nitrogen leaching authorised by this rule is for the discharge of domestic wastewater effluent (including grey water but not stormwater) from any new advanced wastewater systems onto or into land, standards, terms and conditions (a) to (o) of Rule 3.10.6.3 shall apply;
  10. Conventional wastewater systems shall not be installed within the near shore zone;

and provided also that:

Where a land use is authorised as a controlled activity by this Rule, the subject land shall not be used to offset any nitrogen leaching increase elsewhere in the catchment.

Matters of Control

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The specification of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance in kgN/ha/year and total kgN/year for the land subject to the application;
  2. The requirement to maintain a Nitrogen Management Plan for the land subject to the application;
  3. Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM model shall be used to demonstrate that any changes to the Nitrogen Management Plan, undertaken during the duration of any resource consent granted under this rule, will not lead to an exceedance of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land subject to the application;
  4. The self monitoring, record keeping, information provision and site access requirements for the holders of resource consents required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Nitrogen Management Plan;
  5. Restrictions on the use of wastewater systems and the monitoring, maintenance and reporting requirements for those systems;
  6. The circumstances and timeframes under which the resource consent conditions may be reviewed;
  7. The duration of the resource consent; and
  8. The circumstances under which resource consents granted under this rule can be surrendered either in whole or part pursuant to s138 of the RMA; and

Notification:
Notice of controlled activity applications received in accordance with this rule does not need to be served.
Advisory Notes:

  • Rule 3.10.5.4 is intended to provide for the development of Maori land that was undeveloped or forested land at the date of notification of Variation 5 – Lake Taupo Catchment (9 July 2005). However, for the avoidance of doubt, it is noted that Maori land that contains some developed land is not precluded from the rule provided the nitrogen leaching from the proposed development together with any nitrogen leaching from existing development does not exceed the upper limit on the average annual leaching of nitrogen set by conditions d) and e) of this rule.
  • Refer to the Advice Notes under Rule 3.10.5.3 as they guidance they provide is relevant to consents issued under this Rule

3.10.5.5 Controlled Activity Rule – Development of Non-Ngati Tuwharetoa Forestry and Undeveloped Land

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment which may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water is a controlled activity subject to the following conditions, standards and terms:

  1. As at 9 July 2005 the land comprised unimproved land or non-nitrogen fixing plantation forest;
  2. The land does not comprise Crown owned land or land that is explicitly covered by Rule 3.10.5.4(a);
  3. All or part of the land subject to the application is proposed to be developed in a manner that may result in an increase in nitrogen leaching from that land;
  4. The total cumulative amount of additional nitrogen leached from all land authorised for development under this rule shall not exceed 3,100 kilograms per annum by 30 June 2017;
  5. The average amount of nitrogen leaching from the land subject to the application, once the proposed development is in place, shall not exceed 2 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year plus the relevant deemed nitrogen leaching rate defined in Rule 3.10.5.12 for unimproved land or non-nitrogen fixing plantation forest;
  6. No resource consent or combination of resource consents under this Rule shall allow an increase in average nitrogen leaching in respect of any land that exceeds 2 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year;
  7. The potential to increase the amount of nitrogen able to leach from the land subject to the application above the deemed nitrogen leaching rate shall not be transferable across land boundaries;
  8. Where the nitrogen leaching authorised by this rule is for the discharge of domestic wastewater effluent (including grey water but not stormwater) from any new conventional wastewater systems onto or into land, standards, terms and conditions (a) to (n) of Rule 3.10.6.4 shall apply;
  9. Where the nitrogen leaching authorised by this rule is for the discharge of domestic wastewater effluent (including grey water but not stormwater) from any new advanced wastewater systems onto or into land, standards, terms and conditions (a) to (o) of Rule 3.10.6.3 shall apply;
  10. Conventional wastewater systems shall not be installed within the near shore zone;

and provided also that:

Where a land use is authorised as a controlled activity by this Rule, the subject land shall not be used to offset any nitrogen leaching increase elsewhere in the catchment.

Matters of Control

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The specification of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance in kgN/ha/year and total kgN/year for the land subject to the application
  2. The requirement to maintain a Nitrogen Management Plan for the land subject to the application;
  3. Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM model shall be used to demonstrate that any changes to the Nitrogen Management Plan, undertaken during the duration of any resource consent granted under this rule, will not lead to an exceedance of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land subject to the application;
  4. The self monitoring, record keeping, information provision and site access requirements for the holders of resource consents required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Nitrogen Management Plan;
  5. Restrictions on the use of wastewater systems and the monitoring, maintenance and reporting requirements for those systems;
  6. The circumstances and timeframes under which the resource consent conditions may be reviewed;
  7. The duration of the resource consent; and
  8. The circumstances under which resource consents granted under this rule can be surrendered either in whole or part pursuant to s138 of the RMA.

Notification:
Notice of controlled activity applications received in accordance with this rule does not need to be served.
Advisory Note

  • Refer to the Advice Notes under Rule 3.10.5.3 as they guidance they provide is relevant to consents issued under this Rule

3.10.5.6 Controlled Activity Rule - Division of Nitrogen Discharge Allowance Upon Sale or Disposal of Land

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment for any farming activity authorised under Rule 3.10.5.3, Rule 3.10.5.8 or Rule 3.10.5.9 where the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance is intended to be altered as a result of the sale or disposal of part of a farm is a controlled activity, subject to the following conditions, standards and terms:

Standards, terms and conditions to be met by applicants to enable them to seek consent under this Rule:

  1. The land sold or disposed of and the balance land on the original farm shall each be allocated a sufficient Nitrogen Discharge Allowance to allow for the intended use of that land; provided that the sum of each allocation shall not total more than the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance that pertained to the farm prior to the sale or disposal of land; and it shall not be less than that permitted under Rules 3.10.5.1 or 3.10.5.2.
  2. The allocation of a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance under a) shall only be to land formerly included within the farm to which the authorised Nitrogen Discharge Allowance under Rule 3.10.5.3, 3.10.5.6, 3.10.5.7, 3.10.5.8 or 3.10.5.9 applied.
  3. Amended Nitrogen Management Plans shall be prepared for the land sold or disposed of and the balance land on the original farm to demonstrate that the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities complies with the altered Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for that land. The amended Nitrogen Management Plans shall include as a minimum the parameters and information contained in Table 3.10.5.3. Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM Model shall be used to calculate whether the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities under the amended Nitrogen Management Plans complies with the altered Nitrogen Discharge Allowances for the land. The amended Nitrogen Management Plans shall be submitted to Waikato Regional Council as part of any application for consent under this Rule.
  4. Where the land disposed of involves more than one new property a) to c) of this Rule shall apply to each property.

Matters of Control

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The specification of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance in kgN/ha/year and total kgN/year for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies;
  2. The requirement for a Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies if the farm management practices represented in the NMPs referred to in standard and term c) are altered. The OVERSEERTM Model Version 5.4.3 shall be used to calculate the nitrogen leached from the land to which the controlled activity consent applies inclusive of the altered farm management practices and this shall form the basis of the NMPs. The NMPs shall demonstrate that the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities complies with the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance. The NMPs shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council within 10 working days of the farm management practices being altered.
  3. The self-monitoring, record-keeping, information provision and site access requirements for the holders of resource consents required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Nitrogen Management Plan;
  4. The circumstances and time-frames under which the resource consent conditions may be reviewed, provided that any review of a consent condition specifying the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance shall only occur when regional plan provisions have been made operative which specify a new target for the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Taupo and which requires that target to be achieved by the reduction of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance specified in any resource consent;
  5. The duration of the resource consent;
  6. The circumstances under which resource consents granted under this Rule can be surrendered either in whole or part pursuant to s138 of the RMA.

Notification:
Notice of controlled activity applications received in accordance with this rule does not need to be served.

3.10.5.7 Controlled Activity Rule - Offsetting (Trading) a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for high leaching land

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment for any farming activity authorised under Rule 3.10.5.3, Rule 3.10.5.6 or Rule 3.10.5.9 where the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance is intended to be altered as a result of nitrogen trading or offsetting is a controlled activity, subject to the following conditions, standards and terms:
Advisory Note:

  • This Rule provides for trading of Nitrogen between existing high leaching farms. Nitrogen trading involving currently low nitrogen leaching land is provided for by Rule 3.10.5.8.

Standards, terms and conditions to be met by applicants to enable them to seek consent under this Rule:

  1. Any increase in the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance must be offset by a corresponding and equivalent decrease in the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance on one or more other properties in the Lake Taupo catchment.
  2. Amended Nitrogen Management Plans shall be prepared for the land that is subject to both the increase and decrease of nitrogen leached. The amended Nitrogen Management Plans shall include as a minimum the parameters and information contained in Table 3.10.5.3. Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM Model shall be used to calculate whether the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities under the amended Nitrogen Management Plans complies with the altered Nitrogen Discharge Allowances for the land. The amended Nitrogen Management Plans shall be submitted to Waikato Regional Council as part of any application for consent under this Rule.
  3. Where the nitrogen trading or offsetting involves more than one property a) and b) of this Rule shall apply to each property.

Matters of Control

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The specification of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance in kgN/ha/year and total kgN/year for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies;
  2. The requirement for a Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies if the farm management practices represented in the NMPs referred to in standard and term b) are altered. The OVERSEERTM Model Version 5.4.3 shall be used to calculate the nitrogen leached from the land to which the controlled activity consent applies inclusive of the altered farm management practices and this shall form the basis of the NMPs. The NMPs shall demonstrate that the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities complies with the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance. The NMP shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council within 10 working days of the farm management practices being altered;
  3. The self-monitoring, record-keeping, information provision and site access requirements for the holders of resource consents required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Nitrogen Management Plan;
  4. The circumstances and time-frames under which the resource consent conditions may be reviewed, provided that any review of a consent condition specifying the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance shall only occur when regional plan provisions have been made operative which specify a new target for the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Taupo and which requires that target to be achieved by the reduction of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance specified in any resource consent;
  5. The duration of the resource consent;
  6. The circumstances under which resource consents granted under this Rule can be surrendered either in whole or part pursuant to s138 of the RMA.

Notification:
Notice of controlled activity applications received in accordance with this rule does not need to be served.



3.10.5.8 Controlled Activity Rule –Offsetting (Trading) a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance to Low Leaching Land

Any use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment that is classified Rural Environment in the Taupo District Plan and does not meet Rules 3.10.5.1, 3.10.5.2 and 3.10.5.3 and which will increase the leaching of nitrogen from that land, excluding leaching from wastewater systems, is a controlled activity subject to the following conditions, standards and terms:
Advisory Note:

  • This Rule provides for trading of Nitrogen involving currently low nitrogen leaching land. Nitrogen trading involving existing high leaching farms is provided for by Rule 3.10.5.7

Standards, terms and conditions to be met by applicants to enable them to seek consent under this Rule:

Nitrogen Trading (Offsetting)

  1. The proposed increase in nitrogen leaching shall be offset by a corresponding and equivalent decrease in nitrogen leaching on one or more other properties in the Lake Taupo catchment. The amount of nitrogen leaching increase shall determine the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land.
  2. Information shall be provided that shows that the corresponding and equivalent decrease in nitrogen leaching is to be secured by way of resource consent granted under this Rule or a s127 change to an existing resource consent.

Standards, terms and conditions to be met by the holders of consents granted under this Rule:

Nitrogen Management Plan

  1. Except where the pre-existing activity continues to be permitted by Rule 3.10.5.1, and where the new nitrogen leaching land use authorised by this rule is farming, the application shall include a Nitrogen Management Plan which uses Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM model to demonstrate that the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities complies with the proposed Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land.

Matters of Control

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The specification of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance in kgN/ha/year and total kgN/year for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies;
  2. The requirement for a Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) for the land to which the controlled activity consent applies if the farm management practices represented in the NMP referred to in standard and term c) are altered. The OVERSEERTM Model Version 5.4.3 shall be used to calculate the nitrogen leached from the land to which the controlled activity consent applies inclusive of the altered farm management practices and this shall form the basis of the NMP. The NMP shall demonstrate that the nitrogen leached from the proposed farming activities complies with the benchmarked Nitrogen Discharge Allowance. The NMP shall be provided to the Waikato Regional Council within 10 working days of the farm management practices being altered;
  3. The self monitoring, record keeping, information provision and site access requirements for the holders of resource consents required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Nitrogen Management Plan;
  4. The circumstances and timeframes under which the resource consent conditions may be reviewed, provided that any review of a consent condition specifying the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance shall only occur when regional plan provisions have been made operative which specify a new target for the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Taupo and which requires that target to be achieved by the reduction of the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance specified in any resource consent;
  5. The duration of the resource consent;
  6. The circumstances under which resource consents granted under this Rule can be surrendered either in whole or part pursuant to s138 of the RMA; and

Notification:

Notice of controlled activity applications received in accordance with this rule does not need to be served.

Advisory Notes:

Nitrogen Discharge Allowance

  • Nitrogen Discharge Allowance means the maximum amount of nitrogen allowed to leach from land, as determined in accordance with Rule 3.10.5.3, 3.10.5.6, 3.10.5.7, 3.10.5.8 or 3.10.5.9. A Nitrogen Discharge Allowance will be specified as a condition of any consent granted under this rule and will be described as the kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year and the total kilograms (or tonnage) of nitrogen per year permitted to be leached from the land to which the consent relates, each year.

OVERSEERTM Model

  • The OVERSEERTM Model is a nutrient management computer model produced by AgResearch, FertResearch and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which provides estimates of the annual fate of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients in kilograms per hectare per year.

Offsetting Nitrogen

  • Once a Nitrogen Discharge Allowance has been determined for the land to which the consent applies, any further increase in nitrogen leaching must be offset by a corresponding and equivalent decrease in nitrogen on one or more other properties in the Lake Taupo catchment. The increase shall be secured by way of a change to the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance.
  • If the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the land to which the consent applies is to be changed, either through the sale or purchase of a nitrogen discharge entitlement, or through the sale or purchase of part of a farm, the consent holder will first need to either apply for a change to the consented Nitrogen Discharge Allowance pursuant to s127 of the RMA or seek a new consent under Rules 3.10.5.6 or 3.10.5.7.

3.10.5.9 Non Complying Rule – Land Uses that do not Comply with Rules 3.10.5.1- 3.10.5.8

The use of land in the Lake Taupo catchment for land use activities that do not meet Rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.8 and may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water is a non-complying activity.

Advisory Notes:

  • Policy 8 provides guidance regarding the matters to be considered when deciding applications made under rule 3.10.5.9.

3.10.5.10 Permitted Rule – Nitrogen, effluent, and fertiliser discharges associated with Land Uses authorised under rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9

The discharge of nitrogen, effluent, and fertiliser onto or into land arising from the land use activities authorised under rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9 in circumstances which may result in contaminants entering water, where the discharge would otherwise contravene section 15(1) of the RMA, is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. The application of farm animal effluent, (excluding pig farm effluent), shall comply with conditions a to c, e, f and h to j of rule 3.5.5.1;
  2. The discharge of feed pad and stand-off pad effluent shall comply with conditions a, b and e to g of rule 3.5.5.2. Additionally the pad shall be located at least 20 metres from surface water;
  3. The application of pig farm effluent onto land shall comply with standards and terms 3, a, c, d and f of rule 3.5.5.3.
  4. The application of fertiliser into air and onto or into land shall comply with conditions a, b and c of rule 3.9.4.11.

Advisory Notes:

  • If the conditions specified in rule 3.10.5.10 a) to c) cannot be met then a separate discharge consent will be required under rule 3.5.5.4
  • Dumps and offal holes on production land are authorised by rules 5.2.6.1 to 5.2.6.4. Those rules establish conditions that must be met.
  • Composting on production land is authorised by rules 5.8.2.1 and 5.2.8.2. Those rules establish conditions that must be met.
  • The discharge of sludges and liquids from activated sludge treatment processes (biosolids) onto or into land requires a discharge permit under rule 3.5.6.4.

3.1.5.11 Permitted Rule – Discharges to air associated with Land Uses authorised under rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9

The discharge of contaminants into air arising from the land use activities authorised under rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9 is a permitted activity if the discharge to air complies with the permitted activity conditions in Section 6.1.8 of this Plan.

Advisory Notes:

  • Non-compliance with the conditions specified in section 6.1.8 will result in the need for a discharge to air permit under rule 6.1.9.2.

3.10.5.12 Nitrogen Leaching Rates

For the purposes of determining nitrogen leaching amounts under Rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.9 the following nitrogen leaching rates shall be applied where relevant:

  1. Use of land described under Rule 3.10.5.1 has a leaching rate of 8 kilograms per hectare per year
  2. Use of land described under Rule 3.10.5.2 has the following leaching rates:
    1. Unimproved land (including gorse and broom scrubland) 2 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year;
    2. Non-nitrogen fixing plantation forest land 3 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year
  3. Use of land for farming activities except under Rule 3.10.5.1, that may result in nitrogen leaching from the land and entering water, has a nitrogen leaching rate of an amount calculated using Version 5.4.3 of the OVERSEERTM nutrient budgeting model
  4. An advanced wastewater system in accordance with Rule 3.10.6.3 has a leaching rate of 3.5 kilograms of nitrogen per year
  5. A conventional wastewater system in accordance with Rule 3.10.6.4 has a leaching rate of 10.0 kilograms of nitrogen per year.

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.12

Rules 3.10.5.1 to 3.10.5.12 reflect the grandparenting approach to allowing nitrogen discharges, which is dependent on capping existing nitrogen leaching activities at their current rate (averaged since 2001) as of the notification of the Plan. The rules ensure existing land uses are permitted or controlled (granting existing nitrogen leaching) but are locked into meeting standards ensuring no increase in nitrogen leaching. However, nitrogen offsetting has been added to the grandparenting approach to allow land use flexibility and increases in nitrogen leaching where corresponding decreases can be achieved. Development flexibility for forestry and undeveloped land is also provided for. The ability to trade (or offset) with other landowners has also been provided for.

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