Sunday, March 3, 2024

Over 200 farmers challenge low-slope maps

Neal Wallace
More than 230 farmers have raised issues with the Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE) over the accuracy of its low-slope maps.
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The online maps, part of the Essential Freshwater Policy, identify slopes of 10 degrees or less for the purposes of stock exclusion and permitted intensive winter grazing.

But the MfE maps have been roundly criticised for being inaccurate.

In response to a question from Farmers Weekly, a Ministry statement says around 200 people have filled out the online form and another 30 have sent information via email.

“Most people who have provided responses to date have said they have some high-slope land within their land parcel, but their land parcel has been categorised as low-slope,” they said.

“A smaller portion of responses have said that all of a land parcel has been incorrectly captured as low-slope when it is actually steep or that the land is low-slope but is not grazed intensively with no potential for intensification.”

Asked how the MfE was responding to the issue, the statement says that together with the Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI), it is consulting industry organisations and regional councils, and inviting feedback through an online form “to help determine the next steps.”

That includes using the location information people are providing to help develop and test other options for mapping low-slope land.

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