A farm plan is a tool which helps identify and implement Good Management Practices.  Farm plans can benefit your property and farm by: 

  • Aligning your productive system to work best with the environment around you
  • Increasing sustainability with soil health and water quality
  • Identifying opportunities to improve on-farm biodiversity
  • Incorporating freshwater values into your work
  • Giving you access to funding to implement these GMPs

You may already have a farm plan in place – perhaps with Fonterra, Beef & Lamb, or perhaps you have a Farm Environment Plan prepared by Greater Wellington. 

Farm Environment Plans (FEP) 

We’re dedicated to enabling continuous environmental improvement on farms that is informed by catchment scale objectives and priorities.  We’ve been helping farmers in our region with Farm Environment Plans since the 1950s. 

Farm planning in the Wellington region has been focused on engaging with landowners in catchments with the greatest need, as identified through our Whaitua process.  The aim is to implement Good Management Practices. 

While we continue to support Farm Environment Plans, our focus remains on enabling environmental improvement on farms within the frameworks set out by new regional rules and national regulations. 

Certified Farm Environment Plans (CFEP) 

The regional rules (the Natural Resources Plan) are designed to help protect the environmental values of our region.  Under these rules, farmers in priority catchments listed below will need to have a Certified Farm Environment Plan by the dates listed.   

 Catchment Certified Farm Environment Plan completion date 
Land in the Waitawa and Parkvale catchments  30 December 2023 
Land in the Otukura, Mangatārere, Waipoua catchments  30 September 2024 
Land in the Kōpuaranga, Makakaha and Taueru catchments 

30 June 2025 

This web map shows the priority catchments in which farmers will require Certified Farm Environment Plans.

View the priority catchments

Benefits of a Certified Farm Environment Plan

A Certified Farm Environment Plan will help control adverse effects of farming and improve the health of freshwater in your catchment. CFEPs will likely be more detailed than any existing farm (environment) plan that you may currently have.  Your existing farm plan, and work undertaken so far, will be integrated where possible, but may not be able to be certified as a CFEP in its current format.  

We’ll help you through this process.  We hope that you’ll see CFEPs as a useful tool to help plan and implement Good Management Practices on-farm.    

Find a Farm Environment Plan Certifier or Certified Farm Nutrient Advisor  

We’re working to appoint:  

  • Farm Environment Plan Certifiers: people who can work with community members to produce CFEPs 
  • Certified Farm Nutrient Advisors: people who can complete a risk assessment required as part of your CFEP. 

A list of people who have been appointed to one or both of these roles to date has been provided below. This list will continue to grow as further applications are processed.   

Appointing Farm Environment Plan Certifiers and Certified Farm Nutrient Advisors

It's our responsibility to appoint certified farm planners (Farm Environment Plan Certifiers and Certified Farm Nutrient Advisors), and we are working with providers to get them in place quickly.

Find out how to apply

Resources to help with farm planning

We’ve created two tools to help make it easier to create a Certified Farm Environment Plan:

Document Purpose
Template: Certified Farm Environment Plan  (DOCX 67 KB) This template makes it easy to compile the key information needed to create a Certified Farm Environment Plan. 
Guidance Material: Certified Farm Environment Plan (PDF 183 KB) This document provides guidance on what information to include in each section of the Certified Farm Environment Plan template available above. 

Freshwater Farm Plans (FW-FP) 

Under national regulations within the Resource Management Act, Freshwater Farm Plans are expected to require a very similar type of farm plan as the CFEP described above.  These plans, referred to by the RMA as a Freshwater Farm Plans (FW-FP) will be gradually rolled out across the country.  The implementation is likely to take several years, and it’s not yet known when they will be required in the Wellington Region. 

The requirements for FW-FP are still being worked out.  When we have more information, we’ll clarify what it means for us in our region (especially if you are required to have a Certified Freshwater Farm Plan (CFEP).  We’re working hard to ensure that our CFEP are consistent with future FW-FP requirements to avoid duplication. 

For more information on Freshwater Farm Plans check out the Ministry for the Environment website

How we can help 

We know this is complicated, and there are many unanswered questions.  We are committed to helping you have the right plans in place to support your in implementing Good Management Practices.   

We are able to provide you free information about your property including; aerial photography, soil information, slope and NZ Land Resource Inventory information. 

If you want to find out more about farm plans, get in touch with your Land Management Advisor at FarmPlans@gw.govt.nz.

Updated June 1, 2023 at 3:02 PM

Get in touch

0800 496 734