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Ngā waeture aukati kararehe wai māori

Freshwater stock exclusion regulations

Recent changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan operative in part (AUP) are designed to protect freshwater in Auckland.

You should know

Central government is reviewing the stock exclusion regulations. This may affect some of the information on this page. We will update the page when we receive confirmation of any changes.

​Current regional livestock exclusion rules

Livestock access to lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands in rural areas must be restricted.

The AUP rules came into effect on 16 November 2021 and apply where livestock rates are equal to or greater than 18 stock units per hectare.

More information

Email if you need more information about the rules and regulations that apply to your land.

For more about stock exclusion regulations, visit the Auckland Unitary Plan Operative in part (PDF 217KB).

National stock exclusion regulations

The Essential Freshwater Package released by the Ministry for the Environment in 2020 also introduced stock exclusion regulations that have different requirements and come into force in 2023.

These stock exclusion regulations differ slightly from the current regional rules, and require cattle, horses, pigs and deer to be kept out of certain rivers, lakes and wetlands within set dates.

A minimum 3m setback is required from the bank of all rivers and streams over 1m wide, and all lakes.

For farms established after 3 September 2020, the regulations apply immediately.

The stock exclusion rules can differ depending on stock type, slope, and other factors.

More information

To learn more about the national stock exclusion s360 regulations, visit the Ministry for the Environment website.

Applying stock exclusion provisions

For many farms, the 3m setback requirements under the national regulations will be more restrictive than the Auckland Unitary Plan rules. If you're not sure which rule applies in a given situation, use the more restrictive rule.

To future proof your farm, we recommend you align any stock exclusion works with the national regulations, as the AUP will be changing to align with these regulations.

Funding contributions

We may contribute towards your fencing costs.

To check if you are eligible, visit the Waterway Protection Fund criteria and information.

You can also apply for certain local grants depending on the location of your farm:

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