Eighty percent or 275,000 hec of Ruapehu District Sheep and Beef Farmed Land is Land Use Class’s (LUC’s) 5-8, running approximately 10.5 su per hec. Over the 4 LUC’s quoted, the carrying capacity varies depending on the level of improvements and capital inputs in fencing , pasture species, water and fertilizer. At last financial years returns for Sheep, Beef and Wool at $64 per stock unit equates to 3 million stock units and a gross income to the region of $192 million.
The Dairy Country of our region [Ruapehu] is predominately LUC’s 4-7, covering 3100 hec running 6750 dairy cows.
The expected pay out notified to date is $5.10 for an expected 2,025,000 kgs milk solids = $10,327,000.
A total of $202,000,000 to our district. With the overly restrictive use of nitrogen excretion [livestock] regulations being implemented by some Regional Councils,this has the potential to severely restrict agricultural production on these LUC’s.
In some Regional Council documents it is only irrigated catchments that are captured by the above, but in my District there are 2 catchments , the Mangawhero and the Makutoku. There is very little irrigation carried out, mostly by mobile [small scale] travelling irrigators able to be transported paddock to paddock, farm to farm, predominately used by vegetable growers. 550 hecs, or .21% of the available catchment is used for this purpose,making it effectively the first non irrigated catchment to be regulated in my Region.
In our District on both sheep/beef and dairy units, it is possible to get all LUC”s identified in one paddock or one aspect. Intensification is unsustainable.
These regulations do not specify any distinct LUC’s, and are based on parent rock and soil type, including slope. If these regulations were implemented to their logical conclusion it will mean a reduction of $202,000,000 to our Agricultural based economy. Our Districts population stands at 15000. We employ/support Engineering Firms, Garages, Bike, Tractor and Machinery Sales and Servicing Centres, Farm Merchandising, Veterinary Clinics, Agricultural Contractors, Roading Contractors, Trucking Companies, Stock Agents, Fencing contractors, Shearing and Scrub Cutting contractors. Farm staff, Fertilizer Sales and Spreading Businesses. Indirectly all the Businesses and people who rely on the above and including Land Owners for their livelihoods. From New World to the local Solicitor, to the Carpenter/Plumber, Health Professional in short all the people who make up a healthy vibrant community. Do not forget that Health and Education funding is based on population, and the ability to attract qualified staff.
I contend that the $202,000,000 could easily be multiplied 4 times as it filters through our economy and community. $8oo,000,000.
Overly restrictive rules and regulations nation wide will change the use of land and on LUC’s 5-8 with sub classes being used to determine what will be the best use of that land in terms of indigenous verse exotic timber. These subclasses will be VIef, VIIef, and VIIIef. Covering approximately 16100 hecs, and are only suitable for indigenous. In practice these areas will be far greater as the topography of these LUC”s means that areas greatly in excess will be captured and reverted along on farm mini catchments , or subcatchments.
A hectare of indigenous sequests approximately 500 kg of carbon annually/per hec, and at $12.50c /ton in NZD terms = $ 6.75c per hectare per annum or $104,600. This assumption assumes a total blanket cover of land in the Sink. If it does not, it could take up to 30 years to achieve the said cover. The balance of 260,000 hectares planted in predominately Pine.
I will use Pine as it is a timber that we know the most about. As Mr John Paul-Pratt stated, pine sequests 165kg carbon/hec/ann at 650 stems/hectare in the first 5 years equals a total income of $536,000 @ $12.50c NZD units/tonne/hectare/annum.
The Agricultural Industry will very quickly recognise the threat to equity and the resultant crash in land values, whilst it will be good for the Carbon Sequesting Industry, it will not be good for the rest of the Regions economy as a rebalancing of property values takes place. This will not be limited to Ruapehu.
There is a loss of income to the District for at least the first ten years from these sinks due to the minimal amounts sequested meaning it will not be economically viable to value it.
Once the industry recognises Land Use Change and farmers realise that they cannot exit with dignity and banks recognise and make provision for loan writeoffs, there will be no spending of any monies other than that that is strictly necessary for animal health or generation of farm income. Urban businesses will fail before farm business. This realisation will spread futher than Ruapehu. It will be New Zealand wide.
Section 61b of the Resource Management Act has been strengthened to state that Regional Councils must show to have considered adjacent Regional Councils Policy Statements.
A social and economic disaster New Zealand wide in the making. The social disaster in our Urban Centres will come first.
References = Land Use and Land Use Capability in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region. Technical report 2008/int/616 May 2oo8.
Whilst trout are recognised and protected in the RMA sec 7[h], this is in direct conflict with Regional Councils role, function and duties under sec 3, meaning of effect. Section 5[2b] Purpose and Principles. Sec 6c and e, Matters of National Importance. Sec 7d other matters. Sec 30[1ciiia]. Sec 45[2a,b] Purpose of Nationl Policy Statements. Sec 62 Regional Policy Statements. Most importantly sec 66[2civ] to the extent that their content has a bearing on the Resource Management issues of the region. 66[2Aa],sec67[2a-e],sec 67[3a] and 67[4a] contents Regional Council plans. Sec68 regional rules
Twenty Four hours a day trout are chewing their way through our Aquatic Biodiversity.The very invertibrae and organisms we are seeking to protect. Our districts $400,000,000 [Meat and Wool NZ] Agricultural base is getting the blame for this. Thus Trout are being used as a tool to inhibit economic growth. We demand economic growth. From the schedules available you can see that many sites of significant aquatic biodiversity to be maintained or improved, are also sites of significance for trout. One example of this is in the Ruapehu District, the Kai Wharite Blue Duck Project, yet this river is also identified as a trout spawning river with a management objective of trout for cultural values. This is at odds with work done by James Lambie, Horizons Regional Council, which found that with regard to barriers to fish passage, that sites of significant aquatic are only by virtue of the fact that Trout have been excluded. This is a huge and glaring conflict that must be remedied. Goggle Food of Trout. Food of Blue Duck.
References: A Preliminary assessment of potential barriers to fish migration in the Manawatu River catchment, North Island, New Zealand. Written by Dr Alex James and Dr Mike Joy.
Envirolink Contract Ref:437-HZLC45