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

 


New Plan sets rules to improve water quality

New Land & Water Regional Plan sets rules to improve water quality

Environment Canterbury announced today that it will implement new rules to improve the quality of water throughout Canterbury.

For the first time, controls on the leaching of nitrates will be set by the Land & Water Regional Plan, which covers a wide range of land-use activities with an impact on the quality of water in both urban and rural areas.

The Hearing Commissioners’ recommendations on the plan were accepted at today’s Environment Canterbury council meeting. Commissioner Peter Skelton says that once the plan’s rules are in full effect next year, the council will require farmers and land users to manage their operations and improve their environmental performance so - over time - the decline in water quality is reversed.

“This is a core focus of the plan because activities in rural areas greatly affect the quality of our water, much of which is found underground,” Professor Skelton said. “However, the plan also deals with water quality issues in urban areas and a variety of land-use activities. These range from on-site wastewater to storing hazardous substances. There are a number of rules aimed at cleaning up stormwater and sewage overflows – particularly in Christchurch. We are working effectively with the territorial authorities and other stakeholders to address these issues.

“Declining water quality is a major issue in Canterbury and one that could take a long time to reverse in some areas,” Professor Skelton said. “These rules are a good start. Some farmers and other land users need to improve their environmental performance. Many are already taking responsibility, which is to be applauded.”

Within the limits that have been set, the plan enables economic activity. “The focus is on outcomes rather than inputs,” Professor Skelton said. “Land users know their own businesses so they won’t be told what to do with their land. Whatever they do, however, they will need to meet the rules.”

There are limits that apply now, based on nutrient allocation zones around Canterbury. The more serious the water quality issues in a zone, the stronger the rules. “By 2017,” Professor Skelton said, ”we anticipate that the plan will contain a series of numbers setting out good management practices across a range of land types, climates and land uses. Many organisations are involved in developing those numbers and we expect them to be available by 2015.”

The Land & Water Regional Plan sets the framework to implement community aspirations for water through the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, a community led, collaborative approach to improving water outcomes throughout the region.

The Commissioner with policy responsibility for water, David Caygill, says the Strategy started by asking about the outcomes the community wanted for its waterways, and what targets they should aim for.

“We set a number of environmental outcomes and worked back from those to see how land users can help achieve them,” Mr Caygill said. “These are the agreed targets. We are looking for improved economic outcomes, but we also need to make sure land-use change does not harm the environment. In areas where it has been harmed we must address this – and the limits in the plan will help.”

The Land & Water Regional Plan sets standards across the region. At catchment level, local communities are involved in developing more detailed (sub-regional) plans and rules to put in place local solutions. This has already happened in Hurunui-Waiau, and is making good progress in Selwyn-Waihora. Close behind are Ashburton-Hinds, Lower Waitaki - South Coastal Canterbury, Upper Waitaki and Wairewa / Lake Forsyth.

As well as addressing water quality and quantity issues, the Land & Water Regional Plan enables earthquake recovery and considers other important issues for the future of Canterbury such as land stability, flood protection and biodiversity.

Having accepted the Hearing Commissioners’ recommendations, council’s decisions will be notified on 18 January 2014. The plan will then become operative later in the year, subject to any appeals on questions of law.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news