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Farm environment plans

A farm environment plan (FEP) is a plan for managing the soil, water and nutrient resources on your farm in a sustainable way. The plan is specific to your farm to manage environmental risks.

Depending on your farm system, a comprehensive FEP may also include other plans for activities relating to the environmental management of your land. For example an agrichemical plan, an effluent management plan, a biodiversity plan, irrigation management plan and stock and grazing management plans. The plan also includes supporting documents for audit purposes.

Who needs a farm environment plan?

Any farm that grows annual crops, commercial vegetables or intensively farms animals. This includes all dairy farms, farming more than 9 pigs per hectare and cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break feeding of feed crops.

Permanent root stock and sheep and beef operations do not require a FEP but it may be advantageous to your farming operation to submit one.

Lessees and lessors are both responsible for submitting a FEP but it can be a joint document

A farm environment plan can be used in some circumstances as an alternative to applying for resource consent for some low risk on-farm activities such as stock crossings, culverts and setbacks. If you would like to use your FEP in this way, please contact us prior to submitting your FEP or undertaking works, email fep@gdc.govt.nz

More information on these rules is in Part C5-8 of the Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan (TRMP).

A complete farm environment plan must be submitted and approved by 1 May 2021

Annual croppers and vegetable growers

The Freshwater chapter of the TRMP (C6.2.9) has rules for farms with more than one hectare of vegetable or annual crops such as maize.

You can continue to crop without a resource consent, but you will need to make and submit a farm environment plan before 1 May 2021.

If you haven't cropped on the land before, you will need a farm environment pan before you start.

From 1 July 2021 you won’t be able to cultivate or grow crops within 5 metres of the edge of most waterways. You can use you FEP to demonstrate how a smaller setback of no less than 1 metre can occur without adversely impacting the environment.

You can use our templates or supply one of your own but it must meet the minimum standard outlined in H20 Appendix of the TRMP.

Farm Environment Plan Guide PDF, 496.41 KB

Farm Environment Plan Workbook PDF, 489.8 KB

You can use this WordDoc form if you have trouble with the writable PDFs above
WordDoc Farm Environment Plan Workbook DOCX, 4543.01 KB

See the rules for annual croppers and commercial vegetable growing in the Freshwater Chapter 6.
Refer to Part C5-8 of the Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan.

If you're NZGAP accredited, you can use their EMS module to complete your farm environment plan.
Contact us or Horticulture NZ for more information about this scheme.

Fact sheet for Vegetable and Maize Cropping

Intensive farming - dairy, piggeries, feedlots, deer, sheep and beef

The Freshwater chapter of the TRMP (C6.2.9) has new rules for farms which intensively farm stock, this includes cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or animals which are contained for break feeding of feed crops.

Intensively farmed stock is defined as cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break feeding of feed crops, sheep milking, dairy farming and farming more than 9 pigs per hectare.

You can continue to intensively farm stock without a resource consent, but you will need to make and submit a farm environment plan before 1 May 2021.

If you haven’t cropped on the land before, you need a farm environment plan before you start.

The Freshwater Chapter of the TRMP (C6.2.9) has new rules for farms which intensively farm stock, this includes cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or animals which are contained for break feeding of feed crops.

Intensively farmed stock is defined as cattle or deer grazed on irrigated land or contained for break feeding of feed crops, sheep milking, dairy farming and farming more than 9 pigs per hectare.

You can continue to intensively farm stock without a resource consent, but you will need to make and submit a farm environment plan before 1 May 2021.

If you haven’t cropped on the land before, you need a farm environment plan before you start.

Workbook, guidelines and rules

You can use our templates or supply one of your own but it must meet the minimum standard outlined in H20 Appendix of the TRMP.

Farm Environment Plan Guide PDF, 496.41 KB

Farm Environment Plan Workbook PDF, 489.8 KB

You can use this WordDoc form if you have trouble with the writable PDFs above
WordDoc Farm Environment Plan Workbook DOCX, 4543.01 KB

Read the new rules for winter intensive grazing in our Tairawhiti Resource Management Plan

Fact sheet on Winter Intensive Grazing

Confidentiality statement

The information provided by you will be used for monitoring purposes by the Gisborne District Council to enable it to carry out its legislative functions and comply with its legislative responsibilities.

We acknowledge that some of the information provided may be commercially sensitive. Please clearly identify in your plan any information which you consider to be confidential. This information may be provided to us in a confidential appendix if you would prefer.

In the event that we receive a request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the information you have identified as confidential in your plan, we will seek your views before deciding whether we are obliged to release the information”