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Media Release

B+LNZ’s reaction to the Government’s intensive winter grazing announcement

B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says it’s encouraging the Government has accepted some of the Southland winter grazing advisory group’s proposals, including supporting an industry-led Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) module to farm plans in the coming year, and the delayed implementation of the winter grazing rules.
Wednesday, 17 March 2021

“Minister O’Connor made the point to our Annual Meeting that more time is needed to work through the Southland group’s recommendations and to write robust policy as a result. We welcome this commitment to getting it right and look forward to working with the Government on this process.

“B+LNZ has been an integral part of the industry front-footing action on the ground. Our belief has always been that industry-led, tested and practical solutions achieve better results than arbitrary rules.

“B+LNZ led the development of the IWG module, and this module is already part of the B+LNZ farm plan launched today and which is being rolled out in the coming weeks as part of our commitment to supporting resilient, profitable farming businesses while achieving positive and lasting environmental outcomes.

“However, we will continue to advocate for changes to the rules the Government is intending to apply from May 2022, including deletion of the pugging standards, the resowing dates, and to the slope trigger, as recommended by the Southland report. It seems that if the IWG module is successful this may mean the Government looks more favourably on amending the rules and deleting the more draconian requirements. B+LNZ will continue to engage with regional councils and the Government to get a clear and consistent direction on how success will be measured for the sector over the coming year.

“In the meantime we’ll continue to support farmers in implementing best practice on the ground and to work with other industry partners to press the Government to address these issues.

“The Southland Advisory Group was a highly effective and collaborative process across the regional council, sector groups, farmers and Fish & Game, suppported by iwi, and it came up with workable solutions that we’ll continue to support.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact B+LNZ’s Senior Communications Advisor Katie Jans on 027 838 6353.