13 Oct 2010

Slow work blows Taranaki dairy streams target

9:04 am on 13 October 2010

Work to protect Taranaki rivers from dairy cows is going so slowly that the projected finish date has been pushed out to 2043.

Dairy streams are meant to be fenced or planted out within five years, but the job could take 33 years.

Seven years ago Federated Farmers, Fonterra and regional councils signed the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord, requiring farm streams to be fenced to keep out cows by 2012.

In Taranaki, the signatories also agreed that most stream banks would be planted out, so farmers got an extra three years.

However, planting rates indicate the job might take until 2043, some 28 years after the agreed deadline.

Taranaki regional council policy chair Neil Walker says it is still not time for regulation, but that might change when the council reviews its freshwater plan, beginning next year.