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Coast, land, water, air - what do you think?


Coast, land, water, air - what do you think?
Our natural advantages here in the Bay of Plenty make it a wonderful region to live, work and play.
Environment Bay of Plenty wants to ensure it keeps managing things like the lakes and rivers in the best way, so that future generations can enjoy them.
Environment Bay of Plenty is currently reviewing its Regional Policy Statement (RPS), a process which must be completed every 10 years. Highlights of the new Statement include improving air quality; managing harbours, lakes and waterways; and responding to the region’s future growth, so people can continue to enjoy living, working and playing in the Bay.
Environment Bay of Plenty Strategic Policy Committee chairperson Raewyn Bennett said the RPS was one of the regional council’s most important documents because it set policies and methods for managing the region’s environmental issues. She said it also directed local district plans and required regional council to take into account iwi management plans.
“The world and the region have seen a lot of changes since the first RPS was written in 1999 and the next one will take these changes into account and plan for the future,” Ms Bennett said. “The regional council now wants to hear from residents and groups to make sure the direction of the new Regional Policy Statement appropriately reflects the views of the community.”
To find out what residents and organisations think about managing our coast, land, water and air, Environment Bay of Plenty staff have written an “issues and options” discussion booklet. The aim of the booklet is to spark thinking and debate and to look at different environmental issues.
The booklet covers the following topics:
Air quality;
Water quality;
Water quantity;
Coastal environment;
Iwi resource management;
Renewable energy;
Natural hazards;
Hazardous substances and contaminated sites;
Matters of national importance and biodiversity (special places); and
Growth management and infrastructure integration.
The booklet, which is called The Next Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement: Issues and Options, will be available for feedback from Tuesday 2 December 2008. The deadline for comments is Friday 23 January 2009.
Ms Bennett said the booklet was produced to stimulate debate and feedback from residents and included a simple feedback form to make it easier for people.
“This public feedback will be used to help us councillors determine resource management issues which will need to be addressed in the next RPS,” Ms Bennett explained.
Following on from this feedback period, the next step is that the draft RPS will be released in May 2009. The draft Statement will be open for public consultation, then in late 2009 the proposed RPS will be available for everyone to read and make submissions on. While discussion and feedback is being sort throughout this process, the proposed RPS will be the one when formal submissions will be accepted from residents, businesses, organisations, Local and Central Government.

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