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Land & Fresh Water Plan Changes

Media Release

29 May 2013

Land & Fresh Water Plan Changes

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today adopted recommendations from a panel of Hearings Commissioners on HBRC’s proposed Plan Change 5 as its own decisions.

There were 29 written submissions from the public on the plan change which proposed amendments to the Regional Resource Management Plan, with the aim of improving the overall sustainable management of the region’s land and fresh water resources.

The new policies will guide and direct decisions, particularly in situations where conflicts exist between multiple interests in the protection and use of freshwater resources.

The Hearings Commissioners were Denis Nugent, Mike Mohi and Roger Maaka and they have made their report and recommendations following consideration of the proposed plan change and the submissions.

The submissions came from a range of groups and individuals who raised 370 individual points. Fifteen of those submitters presented evidence at the hearing on 10-12 April 2013.

The Commissioners noted in their report that “water is fundamental to all life forms, and an integrated and sustainable approach to water use needs to recognise that.”

The amendments recommended by the Commissioners provide “a series of environmental bottom lines that in part give effect to the 2011 National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and to a number of concerns raised by submitters.”

In response to concerns from some submitters that Change 5 could affect Ngati Kahungunu’s values and interests in land and water, the Commissioners say they “are satisfied that Change 5 does not interfere with any Treaty claims. We also note that, unusually, this Hearing Panel is comprised of a majority of Maori members.”

The Council’s decisions will be officially issued to submitters next week. Submitters will then have 6 weeks to lodge appeals with the Environment Court if they are not satisfied with the Council’s decisions.

From next week, decisions on Change 5 can be downloaded from HBRC’s website www.hbrc.govt.nz. Copies can also be viewed at all public libraries in the region and at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, 159 Dalton Street, Napier from which printed copies can also be requested.

ends

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