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Council committed to best management of harbour

Regional council committed to best management of harbour

Thursday 14 February, 2008

The importance of all councils working together to ensure the best management of the Ohiwa Harbour was again confirmed by Environment Bay of Plenty on Thursday.

At its Strategic Policy committee meeting councillors acknowledged Opotiki District Council’s concerns with the Ohiwa Harbour Strategy and resolved to meet with councillors from Opotiki and Whakatane District Councils, along with iwi, to work through those issues.

The council also resolved to implement the actions in the strategy, noting issues raised by Opotiki would be resolved through that process.

The strategy, a non-statutory document (not required by law), was developed by iwi and the three councils.

It was signed off last year by Whakatane District Council and Environment Bay of Plenty and agreed by iwi. Opotiki District Council did not sign the strategy over concerns about mangrove management and Ramsar status for the harbour.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Councillor Malcolm Whitaker said councillors looked forward to working with Opotiki District Council on their issues.

“The debate on the item recognised the importance of the harbour to the region, and the relationships that surrounded it,” Mr Whitaker said. “The relationship we have with the other councils and iwi is important to us. It’s also important that we’re able to keep action moving on the ground so that the harbour is managed in the best way possible for the region.”

The Ramsar Covention on wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty which promotes the conservation of wetlands and their use. The strategy included investigating whether an application should be submitted to have Ohiwa Harbour included as a wetland of international importance. For more information visit www.envbop.govt.nz


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