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

 

Tokomairiro Forum To Address Catchment Water Quality Issues

MEDIA RELEASE


December 5, 2012

Tokomairiro Forum To Address Catchment Water Quality Issues

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has organised a public forum to help farmers in the Tokomairiro address and resolve serious water quality issues in the catchment.

The council has invited all local farm owners and managers to the forum, which is being held at Milton’s White Horse Inn on Thursday December 13 from 7pm to 9pm.

Other interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

The decision to host the forum follows the release of a major ORC State of the Environment study of water quality and ecosystem health in the catchment.

The seven-month study has revealed that water quality has deteriorated markedly in recent years, with the entire catchment exceeding guidelines for bacteria, sediments, and nutrients.

The monitoring carried out by the council between 2001 and 2006 led to the Tokomairiro River at the west branch bridge being classified as having good water quality.

However, water quality declined sharply between 2006 and 2011, reducing its classification from good to fair, and making it one of the most polluted rivers in Otago.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the forum is a chance for locals to hear about the water quality results and discuss solutions. It’s also a chance for farmers to learn what they need to do to be compliant with the Otago Water Plan.

“Most locals understand that this sort of degradation of the waterways cannot continue. Unfortunately it is a reality that some of the local farm management practices are contributing to the problem,” Mr Woodhead said.

“We are keen to work with the local farming community to identify solutions to these problems. This will be a major focus of the forum,” he said.

Tile-mole and surface drains are extensively used to enable farming on the catchment’s heavy clay soils, and it was these drains which were often the conduit for most of the contaminants being discharged into the waterways.

Mr Woodhead said ORC accepted that these were not easy issues to solve but a start had to be made, and it was crucial that people got on board with improving water quality in the area.

“Changing some of the practices which have caused the water pollution doesn’t require rocket science. With commitment from local landowners, this catchment can be rehabilitated.”

The ORC permitted activity approach in the Otago Water Plan is designed to give farmers optimum flexibility to deal with water quality issues.

“I’m confident ways can be found to help farmers use that flexibility to their advantage, while at the same time improving water quality and ecosystem health in the Tokomairiro catchment,” Mr Woodhead said.

“We’d prefer not to go down an enforcement path. Rather, we would like to work with the local community to identify practices which will ensure farm activities comply with our rules. We know there are still a few farms with inadequate effluent storage, and that there are farmers who need to fence off stock access to waterways, or take steps to reduce sediment and nutrient contamination.”

“The forum is a good chance for them to talk to us about what measures are best for the local conditions,” Mr Woodhead said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election