With a massive hat tip (of hit tap) to John Hart, the nicest guy I’ve never met, here goes a step by step process for those wishing to submit to the factory farming consent application;

1. Go to the three applications on the Ecan web site:

Williamson Holdings
Southdown Holdings
Five Rivers

Each link takes you directly to the submission form for the applications.

2. Enter your details

3. Tick the support/oppose box for each consent under the application

4. Tick “I want to be heard” (There is no obligation to show up but it gives your submission more weight and you will be notified of hearings later).

5. In the box marked “Your Reasons” enter your submission text. Here’s mine as an example (adapted from the excellent Green’s Guide).

I oppose this application in it’s entirety. Issues around environmental degradation, water quality, animal welfare and NZ’s international brand make this application completely inappropriate for New Zealand’s national interest.


•The Mackenzie Country is an iconic brown tussock landscape. This unique and fragile environment will be radically altered by irrigation and intensive dairying.
•The Mackenzie is important habitat for threatened plants and birds which rely on a dry tussockland habitat.
•The proposed farms will be heavily reliant on supplementary feed being trucked in from elsewhere, with resulting milk produced in large volumes needing to be trucked out.
•Large amounts of fecal solids will be stored above ground to be applied to pasture in specified months. Leachate from these deposits will radically alter the nutrient levels in the surrounding land, making life untenable for much of the native flora and fauna.

Water quality:

•The consent applications include large effluent ponds and plans to discharge large amounts of diluted effluent onto the land every day. This will alter the nutritional balance of streams, waterways and rivers in the vicinity.
•The majestic Upper Waitaki & important recreational lakes such as Lakes Benmore and Aviemore are at risk of contamination from effluent and nutrient runoff.

Tourism and international brand

•The Mackenzie Country is a major drawcard for international tourists, and the gateway to Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park. Over 200,000 international tourists visit the National Park each year
•New Zealand’s tradition of farming animals outside and on pasture is integral to our clean, green image and our competitive advantage. News that New Zealand dairy products come from factory farmed cows will undermine our international brand, which is unfair to the many good farmers who are farming sustainably.

Animal health and welfare:

•It is cruel to house cows inside without fresh air and sunlight for 8 months of the year and for 12 hours a day during summer.
•Animals confined in close quarters are at greater risk of injury and infection and are likely to need controlling with antibiotics.

6. In the box marked “Consent”, enter your desired outcome, for example

I wish Environment Canterbury to decline the application in it’s entirety.

7. Hit the submit button and wait for your confirmation email.

Don’t forget you need to do this for all three applications. If enough people make submissions we can stop factory farming getting a foothold in New Zealand.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • There may be valid economic reasons for the farmer’s applications. Farming in New Zealand is not easy. But the issue of factory farming and our free-range reputation is so important that we need a zero-tolerance for this type of activity. I’ll be encouraging my friends to do as you have and strongly object to these applications.

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