NPR - A GLASS HALF FULL? – THE IMPACT OF EMERGING FRESH WATER QUALITY POLICY ON THE FUTURE OF NEW ZEALAND FARMING
The last decade has seen a significant local and central government policy response to the issue of declining fresh water quality in New Zealand, much of it as a result of diffuse nutrient, sediment and bacterial contamination. The correlation between agriculture and diffuse contaminant loss is now well recognised by the scientific and agricultural sectors alike. The subsequent requirement that policy changes have for New Zealand farmers to take greater responsibility for their impact on fresh water quality certainly presents a significant challenge to farmers will necessitate substantial farm system change. The necessary extent of change appears achievable, but the associated costs of mitigation are going to have to be largely internalised by farm businesses. A renewed focus on productivity and innovation and the recognition of the wider benefits that such farm system changes will have on our own communities will need to underpin this necessary transition to how we farm into the future.
Keywords: diffuse contaminants, fresh water policy, mitigations, pastoral farming, water quality