Prepared for the Waikato Regional Council by Phil Journeaux, Darren McNae & James Allen; May 2019.

The financial impact of the nitrogen cap was analysed across various aspects:

(i) Impact on farm working expenses. As a generalisation, the rate of increase in farm working expenses across farms in New Zealand over time is greater than the rate of increase in farm income. This is the classic ‘cost/price’ squeeze which has affected New Zealand farming for
many decades. 

Within the catchment, there was insufficient information available to readily determine if the nitrogen cap was having any additive impact on this issue.

(ii) Compliance costs. There has been an increase in compliance costs for the catchment farmers, with respect to:

  • Cost of consenting.
  • Time cost to farmers and/or staff in monitoring and annual audits.
  • Annual monitoring cost to Waikato Regional Council.
  • Cost of employing professions (consultants, accountants) to assist in the annual monitoring/audit process

This compliance cost is often exacerbated for the Maori farming entities, given their governance and multiple-ownership structures. 

You can download the full report below.