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

 


Coastal watch needed as pressures grow

10 April 2013

Coastal watch needed as pressures grow

Increasing pressure on Waikato’s coastal environment will need to be managed carefully, particularly on the Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato Regional Council’s resource use and environmental monitoring committee has heard today.

Currently the council spends about $4 million a year on managing and monitoring the health of the marine environment in the region.

Reports on coastal estuarine environments to today’s committee meeting said Thames, Whitianga and Whangamata were all expected to grow strongly.

“In the next 30 years the population of Auckland will also have increased by one million and so the holiday population on the Coromandel, which already swells to five times the usual size, will grow accordingly,” a report said.

The Coromandel was often referred to as the playground of the Waikato, Auckland and beyond but “increasing development pressures” highlighted the need for its “management and protection” for a range of “economic, cultural, recreational and environmental reasons”.

The reports said the council has a work programme underway to identify what needs to be done to protect the coastal area in light of these increasing pressures.

Currently, harbour and catchment plans are in place for Whangamata and Wharekawa, and one is under development for Tairua and Pauanui. These plans are designed to reduce sediment and nutrients from getting into the coastal marine area where they can degrade water quality and harm aquatic life. This can have a negative impact on tourism.

The council is also closely monitoring the environmental impacts of land-based activities, such as farming and forestry, in the southern Firth of Thames and Raglan Harbour on the west coast. Tairua-Pauanui monitoring is due to start next financial year. This monitoring will provide the council with information on changes in the marine environment and help determine future work programmes.

The council has been putting in place resource consent conditions to ensure that discharges into the sea from stormwater systems and wastewater treatment plants are of a high standard. Consent conditions covering activities such as farming, forestry and industry are also designed to help protect the marine environment. For example, discharges from outlets such as factories and wastewater plants into the Waihou River, which flows into the Firth of Thames, have been significantly reduced over the last 10 years.

The reports indicated the council should ideally be able to do more management and monitoring work over time and that this could be considered as more funding became available.

“A lot of work is being done in co-operation with other agencies to plan for the way we will manage the coastal environment going into the future,” said coast and marine programme manager Dr Peter Singleton.

“Staff will provide further information to councillors on potential work programmes once the joint planning we’re doing points a clearer way ahead.”

The committee agreed that looking at the question of more funding for future work in this area was warranted.

Committee chair Lois Livingston said after the meeting that the information presented in the reports highlighted significant economic, environmental and recreational issues.

“We all know our coastal spaces are valuable environments in their own right and provide important economic and recreational benefits to our communities, and those of neighbouring regions.

“Given the growth being anticipated in our coastal communities, and the growing populations of cities like Auckland and Hamilton, it will be crucial to ensure we do what we can to protect our coasts.”

The Waikato Regional Council

The council’s area extends from the Bombay Hills in the north to Mt Ruapehu in the south, and from the mouth of the Waikato River to Mokau on the west coast, across to the Coromandel Peninsula on the east.

The region contains nationally important electricity generation facilities, an internationally significant dairy sector and iconic natural features, such as Lake Taupo, which are key tourist attractions.

The council has three key strategic goals:
• The values of land and water resources are sustained across the region
• The people of the region collaborate to achieve a shared vision of the Waikato competing globally, caring locally
• The Waikato Regional Council meets its legislative co-governance requirements by working together in good faith and a spirit of co-operation

Our wide-ranging responsibilities include:
• sustainable management of natural and physical resources, including pest control.
• planning regional growth and transport, and providing bus services.
• civil defence, emergency response, navigation safety, dam safety, flood management, erosion control and road safety.

Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/waikatoregion

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news