4 Nov 2009

Rotorua farmers challenge effluent compliance figures

2:02 pm on 4 November 2009

Federated Farmers is continuing to challenge the Bay of Plenty Regional Council over dairy effluent compliance figures and is seeking a 'please explain' meeting.

The council says a recent audit of dairy shed effluent disposal systems revealed serious breaches on half the 32 farms checked in the Lake Rotorua catchment.

Federated Farmers has accused the council of selectively using figures.

The organisation's Rotorua president, Neil Heather accepts that an initial inspection showed 16 farms had compliance issues.

On re-inspection, he says all but four were found to comply with effluent discharge conditions, having taken corrective action. Mr Heather says that information was not made public.

Regional council chief executive Bill Bayfield says Federated Farmers should be focusing on why some farmers still aren't complying with effluent conditions designed to protect the region's most vulnerable lake.

The council believes that on re-inspection 100% of the farms should have been compliant, he says.

Mr Bayfield says the regional council will meet Rotorua farming representatives on Tuesday.