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Closer devlp. of water management policy with Govt

April 10, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT

Regional Councils look forward to closer development of water management policy with central government – ECan Chair

Environment Canterbury chairman Sir Kerry Burke says regional councils will welcome the opportunity to engage with central Government in the ongoing development of water policy. Sir Kerry chairs the water sub-committee of the national grouping of New Zealand regional councils chairs and mayors, the Regional Affairs Committee.

Water and its future management is a key issue for Canterbury region, Sir Kerry said.

“The principles outlined in today’s government water management paper, which have been established to guide the development of future policy appear to be soundly based, particularly the principle that water will continue to be managed as a public resource.

“I expect that regional councils will play a central role in this process.

”Environment Canterbury is currently consulting the community on the cost-recovery of water management services from consent holders and we welcome the inclusion of this matter in policy development.

“It is good to see that the government is looking at alternatives to first-in first-served as a way of allocating resource consents. First-in first-served does not always ensure the optimum sustainable use of the resource.

“Nationally, the cabinet paper is aiming for national policy statements by the end of March next year on managing increasing demands for water, ways of measuring water use and methods for establishing environmental river flows. These are all areas where ECan water managers are actively working with industry partners to trial water meters and telemetry and refine information to benefit farmers and water data accuracy.”

ENDS

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