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TANK Group to advise on water management

Media Release

5 December 2012

TANK Group to advise on water management

A group tasked with developing consensus for managing catchments in some of the most productive and developed areas of Hawke’s Bay continues to make steady progress.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council recently convened a group of community members to make recommendations on a plan change for the Greater Heretaunga and Ahuriri catchment area. The ‘TANK’ group (an acronym for the Tutaekuri, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamu river catchments) is made up of approximately 30 individuals from agricultural and horticultural sectors, environmental and community interest groups and tangata whenua. The group works alongside researchers and facilitators from the Cawthron Institute and Landcare Research.

The group’s second meeting was held recently in Hastings as part of a year-long collaborative process of consensus building for water management in the area.

A large number of water permits in the Greater Heretaunga and Ahuriri catchment area are expiring in 2015 and shortly thereafter, and HBRC expects most permit holders to apply for new consents. HBRC intends to amend its Regional Resource Management Plan to confirm allocation limits and water quality targets to provide clear guidance for assessing consent applications.

HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson says the council was trialling a collaborative process for setting objectives and limits for freshwater, in line with recommendations from the national Land and Water Forum.

“We’ve given a good faith undertaking to implement any consensus outcome agreed by the TANK Group, if one emerges, as long as it is consistent with higher level documents such as the Resource Management Act and the Hawke’s Bay Land and Water Management Strategy,” he says.

“If this works well, I can see us making more use of collaborative processes in the future.”

At the second meeting, TANK members heard science presentations from HBRC staff about the region’s hydrology and geological setting, as well as some of the management issues throughout the catchments and the near-coastal zone.

A further five meetings have been scheduled for the group, and participants also meet informally to discuss their own values and objectives for water management in the catchments. Valuable insights have already been obtained, and it is hoped that by bringing individual stakeholders together, many of whom are also networking with the wider community; a common vision for water management in the catchment might be built.

ends

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