Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective
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Collective Update October 2014
Dear <<First Name>>
Welcome back to the second edition of the Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective e-newsletter.  It's been a hectic month for the Collective, not only in terms of keeping up with spring work around the farm, but also getting the wider Rotorua farming community involved in the draft rules feedback process. We've held two pubic meetings over the last few weeks with around 230 farmers and small block owners getting the opportunity to "have their say". Read on for more info about the feedback process and latest news and events.  Remember you'll find everything here and more on our website.

From the chair 

The two public meeting organised by the Collective on the draft proposed rules attracted a large number of landowners, many of whom knew very little about these rules and how they will affect them. The Collective will be submitting feedback to BOPRC on behalf of its members.  We strongly urge you to complete an individual feedback form as well. A reminder - the deadline for comments on the proposed rules is 14 October. If you still need to find out more about the rules before the 14th, make sure you attend the public meeting on 7 October.

The Collective is advocating for a comprehensive review of the science that informs the 435 tonnes nitrogen (tN) target. This is important because since the 435 tN target was set, the changed behaviour of the Lake has seen the TLI target being consistently met and the Lake becoming phosphorous limited.

We are also continuing to ask for better economic information - farmers want to know about the impact of the proposed rules (and any variation) on themselves and the Rotorua community. Economic information should inform the process, rather than explaining the costs after decisions have been made.

We are pleased to see a Land Technical Advisory Group has been established by the Council (see Terms of Reference).This group of experts will inform how to best address the impact that catchment activities have on the lake. They meet for the first time on 8 October. I'll keep you posted on this.

What you've been saying about the draft rules

We have now summarised the points raised at two public meetings held at the Ngongotaha Football Club in September. These meeting were a great opportunity to learn more about the draft nutrient rules and for us to listen to landowner concerns. At the September 22 meeting it was clear that many small block owners were upset about both the content of the draft rules and that they had only just been informed about them. These views are captured in the Rotorua Daily Post article here. Some of you may have heard Christine Paterson (the Collective Secretary) being interviewed on National Radio. If you missed it you’ll catch it here.

You’ll find the summary of issues raised at both meetings on our website.

We’ve also set up blog page on our website where you can post comments on the rules. Again this is a good opportunity for landowners to get their views across and learn how others are thinking.

How to have your say on the draft nitrogen rules

From Bay of Plenty Regional Council
The current draft rules consultation phase ends on 14 October 2014. All the feedback received by the Council will be considered in amending the draft rules before they are formally notified as a proposed plan change in March or April next year.  Notification is the start of the formal Resource Management Act process. After that, anyone can make submissions on the proposed plan change, either in your own name or as part of a group such as the Rotorua Collective or Federated Farmers. This leads to public hearings where submitters can present their case before a Hearings Panel which makes decisions on the rules. Beyond that are possible appeals by submitters to the Environment Court. 

While we don’t expect the draft rules to come into effect until 2017, we want to hear from you now!  Send your feedback before 14 October using the "Have your say" form here or call us on 0800 884 880. 
In brief

Horse fraternity upset by draft rules

Small block owners around Lake Rotorua were upset to find out they will also be caught by the new nitrogen rules, not just large pastoral farmers. The horse fraternity has been active in encouraging affected landowners to become involved - this triggered a front-page article and comments in the Rotorua Daily Post

Members needed for Lake Rotorua Incentives Board

Foundation board members are now being sought for the Incentives Board. This Board will have the challenge of considering proposals to reduce the amount of nitrogen flowing into Lake Rotorua. For more information go to Governing the Incentives Scheme.
On the farm

Awarua Farm - Neil Heather

Farming for Neil Heather is a juggling act between day-to-day farm work and advocating the interests of fellow farmers in the wider Lake Rotorua catchment.

The Heather family having been farming on Paradise Valley Rd since 1921. Today Neil lives
in the original family homestead nestled on the tree-lined banks of the Ngongotaha River. read more

Draft Rules Information Meeting

This is your opportunity to learn more about the draft nutrient rules before the 14 October deadline for feedback. Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff will present on how the rules will work.  There will time for questions and discussion.
7-9 pm,  Tuesday 7 October,  Ngongotaha Hall, Rotorua

Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Research Presentations 

The University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Council invite you to attend an evening of presentations on research projects related to the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes. You'll find a full list of the research presentations here
6-8 pm,  Wednesday 8 October,  Holiday Inn, 10 Tryon St, Rotorua
RSVP to Gloria Zamora by email or call 0800 884880 

StAG - October Meeting 

The Stakeholder Advisory Group October Meeting - covering the latest on draft rules and incentives. You can find out more about StAG here.
All welcome!
9am-12pm, Wednesday 22 October, Rotorua District Council

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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