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

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s, when complaints were commonly being levelled at RNZ’s Morning Report programme, largely by National MPs discomfited by being interviewed by Kim Hill.

The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

 
 

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>

ALSO:

'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>

ALSO:

Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>

ALSO:

Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The SIS/GCSB’s Compliance With Torture

Torture is a crime under international law. New Zealand has signed (a) the UN convention against torture and (b) formal agreements about how armed conflict should be conducted. That’s the legal backdrop to the fascinating report released this week by the SIS Inspector-General.

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels