Stock exclusion rules

Here's all the information about the rules around stock exclusion.

What is stock exclusion?

Stock exclusion is preventing cattle, pigs and deer from gaining access to wetlands, lakes and rivers wider than one metre anywhere on a property. Stock activity can damage the bed and banks of our waterways while dung, urine and sediment can also seriously impact water quality, the lives of animals living there and mahinga kai values.

The regulations

Stock exclusion regulations were introduced in the Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Regulations 2020(external link) as part of the Government’s Essential Freshwater reforms and came into effect on 3 September 2020.

Under the new regulations, stock must be kept at least 3m from waterways and this is being applied in a phased approach up to 1 July 2025 with new requirements coming into effect on 1 July 2023.

The following stock exclusions from lakes, rivers or streams wider than 1m and low-slope land (5° or less with slopes of between 6-10° addressed through freshwater farm plans once they are in place) apply from 1 July 2023:

  • Dairy cattle and pigs on any terrain
  • Intensively grazed beef cattle and deer on any terrain
  • All beef, dairy, dairy support cattle, deer and pigs from wetlands identified in the Regional Freshwater Plan for Taranaki.

From 1 July 2025, the following stock exclusions apply: 

  • Dairy support cattle on any terrain
  • Non-intensively farmers beef cattle and deer on low slope land
  • All beef, dairy, dairy support cattle, deer and pigs from wetlands that support a population of threatened species
  • All beef, dairy, dairy support cattle, deer and pigs from natural wetlands
    on low-slope land.

If you have a Council Riparian Management Plan fully implemented following a full audit by a Land Management Officer, you already comply with both the Council and Government regulations.

Those with partially implemented riparian plans (at 3 September 2020) should contact the Council for advice - 

Useful links

Ministry for the Environment (MfE) stock exclusion factsheet(external link) | webpage(external link)

The Essential Freshwater reforms: a quick guide

The Government’s Essential Freshwater reform package aims to protect and improve our rivers, streams and wetlands to stop further degradation of freshwater, start making immediate improvements and reverse past damage to bring our waterways and ecosystems to a healthy state within a generation.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM 2020) sets out the policies and the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-FW) establishes the regulations to achieve this. Stock exclusion rules are set out in the Natural Resources (Stock Exclusion) Regulations 2020. 

What this means for people in Taranaki is requirements are being set for those carrying out certain activities that pose risks to freshwater and freshwater ecosystems. Anyone carrying out these activities will need to comply with the standards and, in many cases, people need to apply for a resource consent from the Council to continue carrying out regulated activities.

All of this is underpinned by Te Mana o te Wai(external link) (the mana of the water). Te Mana o te Wai means that when managing freshwater, the health and well-being of the water is protected and human health needs are provided for before enabling other uses of water.