22 Apr 2014

Dairy NZ critical of dam nitrogen limits

4:25 pm on 22 April 2014

The organisation which represents dairy farmers has hit out at the Board of Inquiry which gave draft approval for the Hawke's Bay's Ruataniwha water storgage scheme to go ahead.

The proposed Ruataniwha dam site.

The proposed Ruataniwha dam site. Photo: SUPPLIED

Dairy NZ was in favour of the irrigation scheme but says it is very dissapointed that the Board introduced strict nitrogen leaching limits.

Dairy NZ's environment policy manager, Mike Scarsbrook, told the Local Government and Environment select committee that the board ignored scientific evidence.

"We're, I guess, very dissapointed that the board has ignored the vast weight of the scientific evidence that was presented to that board and have instead gone with a correlation between an invetribrate indicator and measures of disolved inorganic nitrogen, they seem to have misunterstood the NPS [National Policy Statement for Fresh Water Mangement]. "

Mr Scarsbrook says community expectations around water quality could have been managed without such strict nitrogen limits.