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Council farm data platform project advances as government slashes regulations

Council farm data platform project advances as government slashes regulations

Regional Software Holdings commits to notifying respondents of policy changes.

Credit: ID 84644803 © Syda Productions | Dreamstime.com

Council company Regional Software Holdings (RSHL) is on a new mission to create an integrated national farm data platform to replace the many systems now in use.

Currently, there are multiple primary sector models and custom systems dealing with the management of regulatory farm data. 

The number of players in the ecosystem posed challenges of complexity, a lack of standardised data, data ownership and management, and data access, a tender posted this week said.

RSHL, which selected Datacom to build and now rebuild the shared integrated regional information system (IRIS), is looking for a technology partner with experience and capability to deliver a scalable solution that will remain fit for purpose over time. 

They must be adaptable, able to work closely with councils and continually deliver practical solutions that meet the sector’s needs.

RSHL aims to provide a solution to support the consistent collection, storage and reporting of regulatory farm data.

The first version of the software is to be developed as a shared service for Te Uru Kahika – Regional and Unitary Councils Aotearoa to collect, hold and report on data to be provided from regulated Freshwater Farm Plans.

However, the tender comes as the new government poised to rewrite New Zealand's water regulations.

"At the time of release, it is yet to be seen what impact the new government’s policy agenda will have on the integrated national farm data platform requirements," the tender noted.

"If the National Built Environment Act (NBEA) is repealed as per the government’s expressed intentions, the Freshwater Farm Plans regulations are set to remain in place because they are legislated under the RMA (1991) which endures."

The location-based rollout of Freshwater Fram Plans was continuing with the regulations taking effect in more parts of the country from early 2024. 

RSHL said it expected the platform would remain strategically important for the management of regulatory farm data and committed to notifying respondents if policy changes materially impacted its requirements.


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