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Regional Council signs on to water Accord

Friday, 22 March 2013 9:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has signed on as a 'friend' to the newly released Sustainable Dairying Water Accord.

The new Accord is a revamp of the original 2003 Dairying and Clean Stream Accord signed between Fonterra, Minister for the Environment, Minister of Agriculture and Regional Councils to promote sustainable dairy farming in New Zealand. The parties had agreed to work together to achieve clean, healthy streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater and wetlands in dairying areas.

That Accord expired last year, and while progress has been made against all targets, more work was necessary to reduce the impact of dairying on water quality in the Bay of Plenty, Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said.

"The new Accord's purpose is to enhance the overall performance of dairy farming affecting fresh water. It outlines the dairy sector's commitment to industry self-improvement, but recognises that their actions and expectations do not exist in isolation."

He said becoming a 'Friend of the Accord' meant the Regional Council supported the purpose of the new Accord and was committed to contribute to its success in the spirit of collaboration.

"The new Accord seeks to make progress in a number of areas, and dairy farmers' commitment to self-improvement is a positive step and strongly supported. The actions set out in the new Accord will not always be enough to meet existing rules and limits in the Bay of Plenty, and we will be continuing with programmes and actions to meet targets and limits, enforcing compliance where it's needed," he said. 

Mr Cronin said the Regional Council looked forward to the renewed vigour of the dairy sector in implementing more sustainable management practices.

Read the full Accord on the Ministry for the Environment's website www.mpi.govt.nz

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Dairy Cow in field lowres