Lakes A Zone operative after seven years planning
Monday 14 November 2005
Lakes A Zone operative after seven years planning and 9,000 submission points
ROTORUA 14.11.05: After an historic seven year planning and legal process, Rotorua’s ‘Lakes A Zone’ is to be made operative on 9 December, enshrining in law permanent preservation of the natural environment of the eastern lakes area.
Work on the Lakes A Zone amendment to the district plan had begun in 1998 after the Environment Court ruled that planning provisions needed to be stronger for an area that was of such national importance.
“Making the Lakes A Zone operative, represents a significant milestone for the council, and for the community that these planning provisions affect." said Cr Maureen Waaka, chairperson of the planning and bylaws committee.
Council planning services manager, Tracey May, says the Lakes A Zone is a very special part of our district and includes lakes Okataina, Okareka, Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Rotokakahi (Green Lake), Tarawera, Rotomahana and Okaro.
“It’s an area of scenic beauty, an area that offers a variety of recreational activities, and an area of historic interest - particularly as a result of the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. It contains large areas of indigenous vegetation that have regenerated since the eruption. The Lakes A Zone includes Mt Tarawera and has spiritual significance for Tangata Whenua.”
The overall objective of the Lakes A Zone is to preserve and improve the natural character of the area, to protect areas of indigenous vegetation, and to provide for heritage values within the zone. The zone also provides for the protection of iconic landscapes and well known view shafts.
Former councillor Peter Barry and current councillors Glenys Searancke and Maureen Waaka have guided the development of the ‘Lakes A Zone’ process and considered nearly 9,000 submission points from the public.