15 Nov 2019
Action Plan for Healthy Waterways

How tighter regulations may impact the land value and limit the uses of your rural property

In 2011, the government issued a broad policy statement on freshwater management that directed regional councils to implement plans to protect New Zealand’s waterways. The latest amendment has put local authorities on notice to progress and develop their own policies more quickly than what’s been seen historically.

The most recent Action Plan for Healthy Waterways was published this September with improvement initiatives put in place to protect and nurture a sustainable future for New Zealand’s waterways. This includes rules and regulations that rural property owners, especially farmers, will be required to meet.

What can you expect to see?

While water quality has been at the forefront of farmer’s minds over recent years, this policy outlines new standards surrounding the nature and rate at which water is utilised and policies which restrict nutrients and sediments entering waterways.

These increasingly stringent regulations will require all rural property owners to be involved and innovate – and may create a large impact on rural land value. We’ll most likely be seeing the following changes enforced:

  1. Consent will be required for all water use
  2. Land use activities will be restricted
  3. High intensity farming models will need to demonstrate that water quality is not adversely affected

The land value of your rural property is now largely determined by resource content

In the past, rural property values have been influenced by physical characteristics and features. But, due to provisions in the healthy waterways policy, rural property value will increasingly be determined by resource consent – and whether or not the activities on your property comply.

What this means is that rural land is now controlled and monitored by regulation. If your property doesn’t comply before you sell, its value may be negatively impacted.

Due diligence is essential to secure a favourable land value

  1. Get familiar with the regulations that affect you. To ensure you comply with regulations, rural property owners need to expand their awareness of what will affect them. Every situation is different, the regulations imposed on your rural property will vary with the purpose and the region. Talk to your regional authority who can inform you on what to look out for.
  2. Be proactive and develop a plan. While the policy set out today is stringent and demands immediate action, what’s important to remember is that the ongoing regulations are always evolving. This means that it’s crucial to stay on top of the changing environment, and keep looking out for changes to regulation that will affect your region. Avoid complacency!
  3. Remove uncertainties when trying to sell. If you can reduce the uncertainty around your rural property, it may result in a higher value – because the market knows what to expect. This means offering clarity around the regulations that affect you. Ensuring security and transparency is key to maintaining a good land value for your property.

Safeguard the value of your rural property by getting ahead of the game

With the government's response to growing concerns for the environment, it’s more important than ever for rural property owners to stay on top of the game through education and heightened awareness.

Rural properties will face lower values if they don’t adhere to regulations surrounding healthy waterways, but it’s a changing environment – and what’s imposed now may not always stay the same.

What’s crucial to secure your rural property’s value is to gain resource consent, where necessary, as soon as possible. Once it’s been attained it’s difficult to be removed, meaning there’s transparency around your property – and its value is secured.

Have your property valued today

Our valuers at TelferYoung assess your rural property to find an accurate value. If you’re looking to put your property on the market it’s important to know where you stand. Make informed decisions about the consent you’ll need to attain to reach a higher value for your property.

Our qualified valuers at TelferYoung can give you an accurate land value. Talk to us today.