Media release

Media release: 207 IWG consents issued to date, with further workshops this month for farmers

Thursday 11 May 2023

More than 200 Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) consents have been issued by the ORC to farmers in recent months for winter 2023, and beyond.

Acting Manager Consents Alexandra King says the focus in recent months has been on education around how farmers can either meet the permitted activity rules, or how to apply for IWG consents - which can cover up to a 3-5 year periods.

She says to date 250 applications were lodged, with 207 consents so far issued.

“We’re hoping to see a high level of good practice this winter, building on the work from previous years,” says Ms King.

Cattle foraging on winter crops

While the deadline for applications was 1 May, ORC is continuing to run four more “one-on-one” IWG workshops later this month, in Dunedin, Alexandra, Balclutha and Oamaru where Consent Planners will walk farmers through their applications, to completion.

Ms King says there has been “great engagement” from the rural community and stakeholders with people thinking about their activity and how they reduce any risks, and all those farmers now with consents also have grazing management plans in place for winter 2023.

“People have been thinking about how they will manage their winter grazing and reduce any on-farm risks,” she says.


Recent flyovers had focus on education

ORC’s Principal Compliance Specialist, Mike Cummings, says the first round of flyovers, pre-1 May, were over areas which were historically used for IWG practices and looking at slope, compared with where there was an absence of consents.

He says the flyovers had a focus on education, and the data was still being processed. Planning is now underway for the next round of flyovers.

Mr Cummings says the flyover focus will now shift to supporting Compliance with the regulations and consents, including through the further flyovers planned this winter.

“It’s great that people have applied for consents or adapted their practices to meet the permitted activity. But the focus now is on how people manage their activity over winter to continue to meet the permitted activity requirements and the conditions of their consents,” he says.

He says the flyover follow up has a focus on education, and the data was still being processed. Planning is now underway for the next round of flyovers.

Mr Cummings says the focus will now shift to ensuring farmers are meeting the regulations or consent conditions. This will include further flyovers, media and site visits.

He says people are also encouraged to contact Council though its Pollution Hotline if they see any issues: 0800 800 033.

Flyovers will be looking at any instream disturbances, forestry and IWG areas.

The goal of the flyovers is to provide targeted information about rules and timeframes and to link farmers with further support around this farming practice.


Last one-on-one IWG workshops

Register for a free one-on-one workshop


Other resources

 ORC’s Pollution Hotline 0800 800  033