WDC consents for Mackenzie dairying quashed

The High Court has quashed resource consents and certificates of compliance which the Waitaki District Council issued for three cubical dairying operations in the Mackenzie Basin.

The Environmental Defence Society, which brought the action, said:

  “Clearly there has been a failure of public policy at all levels. The Government has failed to provide national guidance; the regional council has failed to identify nationally important landscapes; and the two district councils have failed to develop coherent and effective district plans.

“There is now a real window of opportunity to prepare a long-term Strategic Plan for the area. In our view that should be led by the local community but both Environment Canterbury and the Ministry for the Environment should be involved. It needs to look at the landscape, natural values and social and economic development options for the Mackenzie Country over the next 25 or more years.

The court quashed the consents becasue of an error of process, it did not consider the merits or otherwise of the case.

I wonder if opponents to the application realise the applicants could run the same number of beef cattle without having to apply for any consents at all because pastoral farming is a permitted activity?

Resource consent was needed not for the number of animals but the type of farming. Dairying required the construction of housing and disposal of effluent. Neither of these would apply for free range beef cattle.

5 Responses to WDC consents for Mackenzie dairying quashed

  1. Andrei says:

    No wonder little Nadia has gone to Australia.

    I miss her.

    No wonder her sister is joining her there next year after she graduates.

    And I’ll miss her when she’s gone too.

    But its for the best – there is no real future here unless you want to join the parasite class and they are about to kill their host

  2. Adolf Fiinkensein says:

    HP, something doesn’t quite add up here. Why do you need to house dairy cows but not house beef cows?

    I was of the understanding that the cattle needed to be housed because the sheer numbers proposed far outstripped the ‘natural’ carrying capacity of the land.

    What’s the story?

  3. homepaddock says:

    Andrei – you’ve got it.

    Adolf – My understanding was that the most of the feed would be grown on the property; and that housing was preferred as a management issue – easier to handle milking and disposal of effluent that way.

  4. Adolf
    Perhaps dairy cows are a great deal more susceptible to the weather because they are having the energy sucked out of them twice daily at the milking shed and are being fed gutless urea-primped pasture, or maybe it’s the intensity with which they are packed onto the hectare, far in excess of the number that should occupy that space.
    My thoughts.

  5. Gravedodger says:

    So many similarities with the mining debate. Can’t have people overcoming hurdles to progress and wealth creation can we, someone might get rich and if it isn’t a protester or a politician then we will call it bad and stop it.
    I to have a sense of loss when I compare the unique tussock landscape of my youth that went through the devastation when the rabbits consumed every thing above ground even, yes even wooden fence posts, to what we have today. Driving through the low downs NE of Tekapo in the mid 60s Mrs GD and I were convinced we were viewing land to the west had been “Chisel Ploughed” and stopped the car to have a closer look, we were looking into a setting sun, then to our astonishment at the closing of the car door the whole area moved with cottentails at hundreds if not thousands to the acre and absolutely nothing above ground apart from the rabbits. That same country had been seen by both of us separately some 15 years earlier as a magnificent tussock landscape.
    When we saw the first centre pivots late last century we felt we had lost something with the large rings of verdant green in that iconic landscape until we recalled the devastated “ploughed”ground of the 60s.
    Progress is not all bad and there still remains a very large area of the Mckenzie basin that is as natural as the rabbits, briar, hiaraceum, hydro works tourism and other human activities have allowed. The dreamer and romantic in me laments the change but the capitalist in me applauds the inovative money grubber instinct to applaud their move. All I ask is that the changes are adequately controlled to contain the possible, in the eyes of some detractors, environmental damage to the areas of the intensive farmed parts resulting in a reasonable balance of retained natural landscape.
    As I commented earlier having read Micheners “Centennial” that narrates the changes in the arid prairie lands of Colorado and Wyoming with so many similarities except we had Moa and they had Bison. Of course times, railroads and sheer size were apparent also.
    If this nation can turn some of the Mckenzie Basin into money with water and good management of dairy developement then as with exploiting our mineral wealth all with safeguards then we have no reasonable options. Lets just concentrate on the achievable, manage the risks and get on with it.

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