Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Good progress made on lake water quality

Good progress made on lake water quality

For immediate release: 10 February 2011

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has made good progress to improve water quality in Rotorua’s lakes.

This week’s Operations Monitoring and Regulation Committee heard that achievements included significantly improving Lake Rotoiti’s water quality, completing all the actions in Lake Ōkaro’s Action Plan, securing half the land use change required for the Lake Ōkāreka Catchment and commissioning the Puarenga Stream phosphorus-locking plant.

Project Manager Anna Grayling said that over the next six months key work areas would include developing policy to support nutrient reductions from land use in the Rotorua catchment and increasing efficiency of existing land use change projects.

“Operational works will continue to treat nutrient-rich inflows to the lakes, and nutrients within the lakes. Further research and development will assist with delivering the most cost effective tools to do this,” she said.

Since signing the Strategy for the Lakes of the Rotorua district in 2000, the Regional Council, Rotorua District Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust had embarked on an extensive work programme aimed at protecting and enhancing water quality in 12 of Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes.

The $200 million programme is in partnership with Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Rotorua District Council, with central government a major funding partner for work on four priority lakes – Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu and Ōkāreka.

Of the other eight lakes, four are in good condition (Ōkataina, Tikitapu, Tarawera and Rotomā), three are of concern but not a priority (Rerewhakaaitu, Rotokakahi and Rotomahana). The Regional Council was supporting a local landowner-led initiative on Lake Rerewhakaaitu, and is monitoring the others closely. Action will be taken if it is shown to be necessary, she said.

Lake Ōkaro remained Rotorua’s most degraded lake, but this year had shown significant improvement in water quality.

“In conjunction with our partners we have made solid progress toward long-term restoration of the priority lakes.

A pilot de-nitrification plant has been constructed at Tikitere geothermal field, benchmarking nutrient outputs from properties is underway in the Rotorua Catchment, with nearly 70 properties now completed. An Action Plan has been completed for Lake Rotomā and a collaborative relationship established with Lake Rerewhakaaitu farmers.

“They are well on the way to having nutrient management plans in place on all large farms,” she said.

A joint resource consent had been obtained with Te Arawa Lakes Trust to develop floating wetlands for 11 lakes, which will be built over time. A review of Navigational Safety and Bylaws had been completed and a tender awarded for intervention packages for Rotorua.

Trophic Level Indices (which indicate lake health) for Lake Rotorua had remained stable for the last six years, although algal blooms in the last two seasons had caused concerns, Ms Grayling said. Actions taken to prevent further decline and kerb the blooms included reducing phosphorous inputs with the new P-locking plant, and construction of the Tikitere de-nitrification plant which aimed to reduce nitrogen levels by up to 30 tonnes a year.

Gorse was identified as a major nitrogen contributor, with nearly 900 hectares in the Rotorua catchment leaching approximately 43 tonnes of nitrogen. Staff had actively engaged with land owners with significant gorse coverage, and three contracts had been signed to use Deed funding to subsidise converting gorse to pines.

At Lake Rotoehu aquatic weed harvesting last year removed between six and eight tonnes of nitrogen, and more than a tonne of phosphorus, exceeding nutrient removal targets.

“Although we are doing well to halt the decline in water quality in our most degraded lakes we must be vigilant in protecting our best as well. Some of our most pristine lakes are showing some signs of water quality decline. Most are still very clean with no algae blooms, but we want to make sure they stay this way.

“Lake Rotorua remains a challenge, and this year we will be focusing on developing policy to support land use change, in-lake and in-stream actions, and operational works for land use change.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news