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Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective
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Collective Update December 2014
Dear <<First Name>>
Welcome back to the Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective's December e-newsletter. It's now been a month since the feedback on the draft nutrient rules was given to the regional council. The key themes coming through are highlighted below. We'll be arranging a meeting in February to bring you the latest with the draft rules progress. Keep up to date with the latest news and events in and around the catchment. Remember, everything you read here is on our website - www.rotoruafarmers.org.nz

We hope you have a fabulous Christmas with friends and family. We'll be back with our next newsletter in January.
Summary of feedback on draft nitrogen rules 
Over 330 people and organisations sent in feedback on the draft nitrogen rules for the Lake Rotorua catchment.
The short version is "overwhelming opposition". The key feedback themes were:
  • Questioning the science around nitrogen targets, especially given the lake is the cleanest it has been for decades
  • High economic and social impacts on farmers, small block owners and the wider Rotorua community
  • Unfair and inflexible nitrogen allocation across different rural sectors. Unsurprisingly, there were some strongly conflicting views on allocation
  • Too much reliance on rules to achieve nitrogen reductions.
The regional council is now preparing a detailed report on the draft rules feedback. Meanwhile, you can see the initial summary and some responses suggested by council staff here.
In brief
Roll out of Sustainable Milk Plan
The DairyNZ Sustainable Milk Plan (SMP) was launched at a recent discussion day held at Stuart Morrison's farm on Oturoa Rd last month, with a few farmers already starting the process.  The aim is to provide all dairy farmers in the Rotorua Lakes catchment with free, one-one-one advice to enable farmers to prioritise their existing and proposed activities into one, simple document.
Sustainable Milk Plans were initially developed for use in the Upper Waikato catchment, which is the largest environmental good-practice project ever undertaken by the dairy industry. To date 590 Sustainable milk plans have been completed. Read More.
Economic impact of daft rules being considered.
Research is currently being undertaken to assess the economic impact of the draft nutrient rules on farmers and the wider Rotorua community. Economic impacts will be analysed alongside scientific results, technical and legislative requirements and decisions already made as part of the wider Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme.  Read More
Who is StAG? 
The Stakeholder Advisory Group (or StAG for short) was formed in November 2012 to give advice on a rules and incentives package to help meet Lake Rotorua’s sustainable nitrogen target. The Collective and others pushed hard to get StAG established as a collaborative means of developing new policy. Read more
Angry locals hit back at nitrate rules
A recent media release highlighted the concerns of small block owners as they grapple to understand how the draft rules will affect properties under 40 hectares within the Lake Rotorua catchment. Around 70 concerned residents met to discuss the next step in challenging the proposed rules. Read more
Events
Stakeholder Advisory Group (StAG) - December Meeting
The Lake Rotorua Stakeholder Advisory Group was formed in September 2012 to provide input, advice and recommendations on the development of new rules and the incentives to help landowners meet them. All welcome!
9-12 am, Tuesday 16 December, Rotorua District Council

New Zealand Flax Forum
The forum will present research and development undertaken by Biopolymer Network Ltd as well as presentations from key players in the industry who will introduce innovative uses of harakeke in a number of applications. 
 8:30 am - 5:00pm, Friday 20 February, Waiariki Polytechnic
On the farm
Jo and Tony Carr - A family farm with the world in mind
With nearly one hundred years of investment having been put into Omania, Jo and Tony are very keen to protect that investment and ensure their farming business stays viable for the long term. “Farmers for the most part are great custodians of the land. They are constantly learning, evolving and adapting their farming practices to many varying demands. In this catchment at present, environmental demands are at the top of the list. It's been encouraging to see how far on-farm nutrient mitigation has come in the last ten years. The contribution those farmers have made for the betterment of the catchment benefits the whole community”. Read more
Would you like to become a member of the Collective?
Three reasons to get involved!


 1. Influence policy that will affect your farm business
 2. Learn about on-farm nutrient management solutions
 3. Get support from fellow farmers and industry bodies
  

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