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He Waka Eke Noa Frequently Asked Questions

We collect questions from the Farmer Reference Groups and conversations that our partners have with their members.  You can talk to your industry representative, or can email us directly at and we will add your questions to the mix for our teams to answer.

As we are building the five year programme, we don’t have all the answers yet, but will do what we can to keep you updated.


  • How do I know if I need to estimate and report greenhouse gas emissions from my farm?

    You do if you are a farm over 80ha, or a dairy farm with a milk supply number, or a cattle feedlot as defined in the freshwater policy.

     In the future, it is possible that smaller farms might be included. We are also looking at other options such as how farms can club together for reporting and accounting. This is part of our development of recommendations on an alternative pricing mechanism.

    Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa



  • Can I use the same tool for the pricing system in 2025?

    Right now the priority is having tools and calculators that farms can use to know their numbers by 2022. These tools may be different to those in 2025 used for the pricing system. This work is underway and we will keep everyone updated as we progress.

    Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa

  • Will there be changes in the way emissions are calculated once pricing starts?

    It is likely that there will be some changes in the definitions and methods that will be used to base the pricing mechanism.  This is needed to make sure the pricing system is fair and consistent between different farmers and growers, and this work is underway as part of developing recommendations on an alternative pricing mechanism.

    Right now, a variety of tools and calculators are available so farms can start getting a handle on their greenhouse gas numbers.

    Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa

  • Why are there different GHG results from different calculation methods?

    Differences between models can occur due to more complex, detailed approaches that can capture farm-scale information (e.g. feed types and N contents, dry matter intake, metabolisable energy, animal liveweights, replacement rates), which influences the dry matter intake and N intake. These drive CH4 and N2O emissions.

     While simpler models are relatively quick to complete, they rely on national/ international default values. This typically results in a less accurate farm-scale GHG footprint but is useful for generating an estimate of a farm footprint. 

     Differences also occur in GHG numbers due to different interpretations by users in the supplied input data. In some cases the variability is driven by the quality of the data that was entered.  

     Our first priority is for farmers to know their greenhouse gas numbers, and understand where emissions are coming from on their particular farming operations. At this stage this variability in GHG results is acceptable. Currently there is no detailed model covering all land use types for the evaluation, so several models are required to support farmers to ‘know their numbers’.

    more on Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa

  • Is on-farm sequestration in the models?

    On-farm sequestration (as is currently recognised within the ETS) is included within three of the models (Alltech, MfE and Overseer). Farmax is shortly to release an updated version which includes on-farm sequestration.

    A big focus of the He Waka Eke Noa programme is investigating how to recognise other forms of on-farm sequestration that are not currently recognised in the ETS. It’s a work in progress and we are working with farmers, growers, and scientists to find the best answers.

    Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa

  • Are there more tools or calculators that could be used?

    We already have several more organisations who have asked for their calculators to be reviewed. Tools will be assessed over the next three months, including Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s GHG calculator, and tools from Toitū, Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), and New Zealand Pork.

    If you have a GHG calculator you would like assessed, please get in touch with us on

    These tools and calculators are to help build farmers’ understanding of their greenhouse gas footprint and how they can manage it. Work is still underway to determine how to calculate greenhouse gas emissions in the future pricing system.

    Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa

  • When will I start getting charged money on these emissions?

    Government has legislated that a price on emissions will start in 2025.

    Developing an appropriate pricing system as an alternative to the emissions trading scheme with farmers and growers involved, is one of the challenges that has been set for He Waka Eke Noa, along with more information on on-farm sequestration options and how that works in with pricing.

    We need to present the pricing system and on-farm sequestration recommendations to the Ministers in March 2022.

  • What happens if we don’t know our numbers by the end of 2022?

    If we don’t meet the next couple of milestones, it’s possible that the programme will not be considered successful and agricultural greenhouse gases will be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme at processor level instead after July 2022.

  • When do I need to know my numbers?

    By the end of 2022 at the latest if your farm is 80ha or more, or if you have a dairy supply number or are a cattle feedlot as defined in freshwater policy. Your industry bodies are here to help you with doing this alongside your Farm Environment Plans.

    The He Waka Eke Noa programme milestones are:

    1. By the end of 2021, a quarter of farms in Aotearoa New Zealand know their annual total on-farm greenhouse gas emissions*.
    2. By the end of 2022, 100% of farms know their annual total on-farm emissions.
    3. By the end of 2024, 100% of farms have a written plan to measure and manage emissions
    4. January 2025 all farms in NZ are using the system for farm-level accounting and reporting of 2024 agricultural emissions at farm level. This will include an appropriate pricing system.

    *In practice this means a person responsible for farm management holds a documented annual total of on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, by methods and definitions accepted by the He Waka Eke Noa Steering Group.

    Tools and calculators | He Waka Eke Noa

  • Will I be able to offset my emissions with the trees on my farm?

    We are looking at ways to design a simple and cost-effective programme to understand and recognise on-farm sequestration (that is, the long- term storage of carbon for example in trees or soil) that currently doesn’t meet the definition of a forest in the ETS.

    Many farms do have forest plantings that meet ETS requirements and farmers can and do benefit from this. Support is available for on-farm planting through the One Billion Trees Programme Te Uru Rakau and advice on meeting ETS requirements. Find out more at



  • Where does the name He Waka Eke Noa come from?

    ‘He Waka Eke Noa’ is a common Māori whakataukī, or proverb which means ‘we are all in this together’. While this whakataukī is widely used, it is appropriate for the Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership because its role is to bring together the groups and people who have a part to play in ensuring sustainable practices in food and fibre production into the future.

  • How do I find out my emissions numbers? 

    The first assessment of tools which could be used to estimate agricultural greenhouse gases has been completed.

    If you are a dairy farmer, most milk supplier companies are providing you with a report showing your greenhouse gas information.  Here is a link to the DairyNZ StepChange project – 

    Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s farm plan includes a climate change module that will help farmers start to build their plan. Find out more

    In May 2021, B+LNZ is launching a free greenhouse gas calculator that will allow farmers to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions and their offsets through sequestration from trees on their farms.

    More detailed information: AgMatters


  • Why do I need to estimate emissions?   

    As part of the commitment made to government by the primary sector last year, all farmers need to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions by December 2022. 

    If we don’t collectively meet this target, as assessed by the Climate Change Commission, the agreement is that Government can bring agricultural greenhouse gas emissions into the NZ ETS, with the point of obligation at the processor level.        


  • How much is a pricing scheme on greenhouse gas emissions likely to cost farmers and growers? 

    We can’t answer this question yet as we are working on possible pricing options, and as part of this we’re testing scenarios with a wide range of farmers. 

    We are interested in options that are practical to implement on-farm and incentivise emissions reductions. 

    We’re also investigating options for recognising on-farm sequestration and how this works alongside the pricing mechanism 

  • Who is representing farmers in the conversations on sequestration, emissions pricing and reporting?

    Industry partners are drawing on the expertise of farmers and growers to build this framework. The first farmer reference group conversations were in October around the farm plan greenhouse gas guidance and provided some lively discussion as well as fundamental ground truthing. 

    Over November the farmers and growers debated the first steps in the reporting, sequestration and pricing themes of the partnership. 

    Our farmer reference groups come from across the primary sector, and so far include:  

    • Beef + Lamb New Zealand Environment Reference Group
    • Deer Industry Environmental Stewardship Reference Group (and NZDFA Executive Committee)
    • FAR Climate Reference Group
    • Federated Farmers Climate Reference Group
    • DairyNZClimate Change Ambassadors Group
    • HortNZGroup
    • Professionals from NZIPIM.  

    You’re welcome to talk to your industry representative directly, or message the partnership at

  • Where do I get advice on greenhouse gases in my farm plan?

    Talk to your industry body in the first instance.   

    There is also practical information on AgMatters.


  • How will I get Greenhouse Gas into my farm plan?  

    To keep things as simple as possible, the greenhouse gas module will be added to existing farm plan delivery systems, such as processor programmes, fertiliser company plans, irrigation scheme programmes and regional council programmes.  

    I am a dairy farmer  

    If you are part of the Synlait Lead with Pride, Miraka Te Ara Miraka, Tatua 360, or Fonterra Tiaki programmes, these will align with the greenhouse gas farm plan module commitments from 2021.   

    Other dairy company programmes will be modified to include a greenhouse gas module prior to the 2025 commitment.  

    I am a grower   

    If you are a fruit or vegetable grower, the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Environmental Management System (EMS) add-on can be used for greenhouse gas farm plan module requirements.  The add-on will align with the greenhouse gas farm plan module commitments from 2021.  If you are an arable grower, the FAR Farm Environment Plan template will be used.   

    I am a sheep, beef, or deer farmer  

    If you are a sheep and beef farmer, Beef + Lamb New Zealand will be launching its new farm plan in early 2021 that will include a climate change module to help farmers start to build their plan.  

    Processing companies are also looking to start to roll out the NZ Farm Assurance Programme Plus programme (NZFAP PLUS) in 2021, that should also be able to be used to deliver on the greenhouse gas farm plan module commitment. 

    Deer farmers may also wish to talk to the Deer Industry NZ. 

    I am not in a Farm Plan Delivery Programme  

    You can talk to the industry body that best suits your farming, or use the Greenhouse Gas Farm Planning template .

     I run a multi-sector farming enterprise  

    Many farmers and growers in New Zealand are multi-sector, growing and supplying crops and livestock for different purposes and to different processors. Some have multiple farms that are spread across one or several regions.  

    You can decide how your Farm Plan Greenhouse Gas module is best prepared and reported on.   

    • Some farm plan delivery programmes are cross-sector and can account for multiple farms. If you have a focus in one sector you can choose one of these programmes to complete your greenhouse gas module.   
    • Some small or medium-scale multi-sector farming enterprises may need to complete separate greenhouse gas modules for different parts of your business to cover off specific market requirements.8 
    • Large-scale farmers and growers with distinct management areas and accountability in their farming enterprise may choose to complete separate greenhouse gas modules under different farm plan delivery programmes for the different parts of the farming business.  

    Whichever pathway you choose, please tell the different farm plan delivery programmes you belong to how you will complete your Farm Plan Greenhouse Gas module. This will help with reporting and improving the overall processes.   

  • When will I need to have Greenhouse Gas in my farm plan?  

    A quarter of farms will have a written plan in place by 1 January 2022.   

    The latest you can have a written plan in place to estimate and manage your farm greenhouse gas emissions is by 1 January 2025.   

    Your sector organisations will have information on their delivery programme and how they will be supporting you through the process.  Talk to your industry representative.

  • How does the farm planning guidance link to reporting and verification of my on-farm emissions?  

    We want to make this as simple as possible and will have more information on this next year.  

  • What will my Greenhouse Gas module contain? 

    Every farmer and grower will:  

    1. Know your farm’s greenhouse gas emissions 
    2. Identify opportunities to reduce your farm’s greenhouse gas emissions and capture carbon 
    3. Make informed decisions about actions
    4. Keep records, monitor and review. 
  • Why do I need a Greenhouse Gas module in my Farm Plan? 

    Farm planning supports farmers and growers in good decision-making. Our primary sector has committed to a quarter of farmers and growers having a written plan to measure and manage their on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by 1 January 2022, and all farmers and growers by 1 January 2025.

    Primary sector industry representatives and government have agreed that a farm planning approach to agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is essential to achieving a net reduction for the sector. Farm plans consider the unique nature of each farm and through this farmers and growers can:

    • Know your farm’s greenhouse gas emissions
    • Identify opportunities to reduce your farm’s greenhouse gas emissions and capture carbon
    • Make informed decisions about actions
    • Keep records, monitor and review

    Over time, all farmers and growers will be able to show how you are playing your part towards solving the climate change challenge.

    The Greenhouse Gas module has been designed to fit within your wider farm planning approach, including future freshwater requirements.

  • How will this programme link with what is happening in freshwater or other regulation?

    The Partnership will line up information, tools and support for on-farm climate action with other on-farm environmental actions, such as protecting and restoring freshwater health and biodiversity.

  • Is this programme about bringing agriculture into the ETS?

    This programme includes collaboration on the design of an appropriate farm level pricing mechanism as an alternative to pricing agricultural emissions through the Emissions Trading Scheme. A price on emissions is one part of a broader framework to equip farmers and growers to reduce on-farm agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change.