To access the old HortNZ website, click here.

Gisborne Farm Environment Plan requirements

All commercial vegetable and cropping growers (see definitions below) who operate on more than one hectare of land (leased and/or owned) need to submit a Farm Environment Plan to Council by 1 May 2021.

Definition for 'commercial vegetable growing':

Using an area of land greater than 1 ha for producing vegetable crops for human consumption, which may be undertaken on a rotational basis, but managed as a single operation. It does not include perennial crops.

Definition for 'cropping':

Using an area of land in excess of 1 hectare to grow annual crops other than commercial vegetable crops. This definition does not include crops grazed on by animals from the same property.

These definitions come from Gisborne District Council’s Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan. The definition of “cropping” also includes seed crops.

If you intensively farm animals, you may also be captured by this rule. See Council’s website for more information on this and if it applies to you.

The requirement comes under Rule 6.2.9 (3) of Gisborne District Council’s Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan. Without a submitted Farm Environment Plan by this deadline, growers will need to apply for a resource consent to continue to operate.

This rule does not apply to permanent orchards.

By 1 July 2021, no cultivation within 5m of a waterway is allowed, unless a grower can demonstrate to Council that they are managing the risk to waterway(s) appropriately.

HortNZ ran a series of Farm Environment Plan workshops for vegetable and cropping growers in Gisborne who are registered for the EMS add-on to GAP. The EMS add-on is designed to address environmental risks specific to horticulture operations.

The workshops guided growers through a Farm Environment Plan using the NZGAP Environmental Management System (EMS) add-on module.

The EMS add-on, available to all GAP certified growers, has been formally recognised by Gisborne District Council as meeting their requirements (click here to read the announcement). We are working through the details of this agreed approach with Council, and will inform growers as soon as the details become available.



Talk to a Farm Environment Adviser

In addition to the workshops, you can talk one-on-one with an experienced Farm Environment Adviser. Contact Agrilink Director, Andrew Barber at to book a one-on-one online session to discuss your Farm Environment Plan.


If you have any questions on NZGAP contact

If you have any questions about the workshops, contact Ailsa Robertson on 027 3177 019.