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

 

Lake Taupo protection makes solid progress

Lake Taupo protection makes solid progress

Efforts to protect Lake Taupo by reducing nitrogen inputs to the lake are proving to be highly successful to date.

Nitrogen entering Lake Taupo, either by leaching from the surrounding land or by direct discharges, can help stimulate the growth of algae in the high quality waters of the lake, a premium tourist attraction.

The threat posed by this nitrogen led to Waikato Regional Council's leading edge Variation 5 policy, which is designed to maintain the lake's water quality. The policy is the first of its type in New Zealand.

The policy, which has had substantial input from the community including through the Environment Court process, establishes the goal of a 20 per cent reduction in the annual nitrogen input to the lake by 2020. Achieving this involves two primary strands of work - capping existing discharges and the permanent removal of nitrogen by the Lake Taupo Protection Trust (LTPT),

The LTPT - funded by central government, the regional council and Taupo District Council - is entering into deals with landowners, including buying farms, so that less nitrogen leaches to the lake.

Also, farmers require resource consent to farm in the catchment. As part of that process they are being assigned nitrogen discharge limits or caps which they must operate under.

A presentation to a regional council regulatory committee meeting this month outlined that the LTPT had already entered into deals that would prevent 94 tonnes of nitrogen entering the lake annually from surrounding land. The committee also heard of the reduction made by Taupo District Council through improvements to its wastewater treatment plants.



"This represents significant progress towards the reduction goal," said committee chair Lois Livingston.

Besides the work of LTPT, the regional council has been working with Taupo farmers to benchmark the amount of nitrogen their properties will be allowed to leach annually. Some 96 per cent of the total pastoral area in the Taupo catchment has now been benchmarked, while nitrogen management plans (how farms will operate under their cap) have been developed for 67 per cent of the area.

A large proportion of the catchment is now well positioned to gain consent once the variation is signed off by the court, the committee was told.

Variation 5 had also opened up opportunities, such as farmers operating well under their cap selling surplus nitrogen allowances to others, and also planting trees (a low nitrogen leaching land use) to gain carbon credits under the Government's Emissions Trading Scheme.

The committee heard that rural landowners who have fully engaged in Variation 5 processes have realized the emerging opportunities and are thinking strategically and innovatively about such things as new land use options and branding initiatives.

"The end goal of all this work is the protection of water quality in Lake Taupo, a huge international tourist attraction. The regional council, in cooperation with the LTPT, central government, Tuwharetoa, and Taupo District Council, will keep working hard to make Variation 5 work as well as it can for everyone," said Cr Livingston.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Gordon Campbell: On Our Wild West Banking Culture

David Hisco’s nine year stint as CEO of the ANZ bank (while his expense claim eccentricities went by unbothered by board oversight) has been a weird echo of the nine years of social neglect by the previous National government.

The same Sir John Key who denied there was a housing crisis in New Zealand – and who sold his own beach house to Hisco – seems to have also been living in denial in his role as ANZ’s chairman of the board. More>>

 

"Population Density": Stats NZ, Phone Companies To Track People's Movements

Stats NZ is partnering with cellphone companies to launch a new way of tracking people's movements every hour. More>>

ALSO:

QS University Rankings: NZ Ranks Well "Despite Resourcing Constraints"

New Zealand universities continue to do well in international rankings, with the release of the 2020 QS world rankings showing that all eight universities remain in the world’s top 500. More>>

ALSO:

Mosque Attacks: 21 Month Prison Sentence For Sharing Live Stream Video

A Christchurch man who admitted redistributing the livestream video of the mosque killings has been sentenced to 21 months in prison. More>>

ALSO:

Operation Burnham Inquiry: Afghan Villagers Pull Out

The Afghan villagers involved with the inquiry into Operation Burnham say they have lost faith in the process and will no longer take part. More>>

ALSO:

Child 'Uplifts': Children’s Commissioner To Conduct Review

“At the time of the attempted uplift from Hawke’s Bay Maternity Hospital at the beginning of May, our Office shared our views on the critical importance of the mother-child relationship, and the fact that this relationship is denied to too many Māori children”, says the Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft. More>>

ALSO:

Fluro Logo, Definitely Not Racism, Activist Judges: Act Has Conference

“Finally, New Zealanders will have the right to challenge bad laws in court. If the courts find that a law hasn’t been made in accordance with the basic principles of good lawmaking, it can be declared invalid." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels