Information for Canterbury Growers


Step 1: Find out if you need a resource consent

  • Is your property more than 10ha?
  • Is your Nitrogen loss number greater than 10 kg/ha/yr (zone dependent)? Find out using NCheck and email your Nitrogen Loss Report to [email protected]

If you answered yes to either of these questions then it is likely that you will soon need a resource consent in place for your business. All growers should complete an NCheck budget to find out if they need a resource consent, or prove that they are in fact a permitted activity.

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 You should also check the Canterbury water website or ECan website for more zone specific information on resource consents, the application process and costs.

Step 2: Register for the EMS add-on and map your property

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Once you have registered with the EMS add-on you will receive a link to Enviromap with instructions on how to map your farm using the online mapping tool. 

Step 3: Prepare and implement a council approved Farm Environment Plan (FEP)

You need to complete a council approved FEP to support your resource consent application. An FEP will help you to evaluate environmental risks on farm, employ good management practice (GMPs) and implement an action plan to make progress towards environmental objectives on nutrient, soil, irrigation, waterbody and mahinga kai management.  A list of council approved FEP templates are available here. You may use Enviromap to create your FEP maps.

Step 4: Prepare your nitrogen baseline

As part of your resource consent application, you will need to complete a nitrogen baseline for the land you are applying for a consent on. Nitrogen baseline is the average N loss during the baseline period (2009-2013). Growers may use NCheck to estimate their baseline by inputting information on the land use during the baseline period, or engage a certified nutrient management adviser to prepare an OVERSEER budget if it will work for your farming system. For more information on nitrogen budgets and to find check the Canterbury Water website 

*Note NCheck has only been approved until 2020 (2020 in Selwyn Waihora) which will have a effect on the duration of consent granted to your business. 


Step 5: Apply for a resource consent

Contact your zone manager to arrange a pre-consent planning assessment

Step 6: Have your FEP audited alongside your usual NZGAP audit

Within one year of receiving your ECan resource consent, you will need to have your FEP and resource consent conditions audited to show you are making progress towards Good Management Practice (GMP). After being accepted by ECan as pathway to show compliance with their regional rules, growers may have their FEP audited alongside their usual NZGAP audit using the EMS add-on

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