Taranaki farmers may have to apply for a resource consent to continue operating if they have not completed riparian fencing and planting in five years.
The move is included in Taranaki Regional Council's draft freshwater and land management plan.
The council said voluntary planting along waterways had transformed the Taranaki landscape since the 1990s but it was time to finish the job.
Under the draft proposal, intensive pastoral farming on the ring plain and coastal terraces would become a permitted activity subject to riparian fencing and planting being completed. If it was not, farmers would have to apply for a land use consent.
The council would also require animal effluent to be discharged to land as a general rule.
It would not, however, be introducing a nutrient cap.
The draft plan is part of the council's response to the new national policy statement on fresh water management.