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Government lakes’ review gives thumbs up to work

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Government lakes’ review gives thumbs up to local work

An independent review by the Ministry for the Environment has given “a seal of approval” to work being done by Environment Bay of Plenty into ways to improve the quality of Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti, says Environment Bay of Plenty’s chairman John Cronin.

Released today, the report studies the short-term management options already being investigated or carried out by the regional council. It also suggests other potential management options.

Mr Cronin welcomes the report, prepared by Dr Bruce Hamilton of Western Australia. “It is very positive to see that we are already implementing many of the review’s recommendations,” he says. “It gives us the Government’s seal of approval.”

Some of the report’s 37 recommendations focus on administrative matters while others involve more complex - and costly - technical research. Mr Cronin hopes central Government will now help to finance some of the recommended actions. At the moment, he says, the work is solely funded by Environment Bay of Plenty and Rotorua District Council.

“It will cost us a lot of money to research some of the options recommended in the Ministry for the Environment’s report – and it will be even more costly when the time comes to carry them out.”

The report’s priority recommendations support the existing work by the two councils in assessing temporary groynes to trap material carrying nutrients from Lake Rotorua into Lake Rotoiti. It also supports current investigations into structures to test options for diverting the Ohau Channel, through which nutrients flow from one lake to the other.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s Paul Dell, the lakes strategy coordinator, says the recommendations will now be discussed in detail by a technical advisory group established by Environment Bay of Plenty. The group includes representatives of Environment Bay of Plenty, Waikato University, NIWA and Rotorua District Council.

In researching the report, Dr Hamilton worked closely with Environment Bay of Plenty’s management, technical and scientific staff, as well as with Rotorua District Council, University of Waikato and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

It is proposed to prepare an Action Plan for Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti, starting this year. Work on the Action Plan will be kickstarted at a meeting on Monday 26 January at the Pikiao Rugby League Clubrooms in Mourea, starting at 11am. All are welcome.

ENDS

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