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

 


Views align on rivers health

21 May 2014

Views align on rivers health

A ground-breaking collaboration designed to help protect the health of the Waikato and Waipa rivers has got off to a very encouraging start with signs that a wide range of sectors share similar values.

A Collaborative Stakeholder Group (CSG) – made up of sector representatives and people from the general community - is a key feature of the Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai project.

Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora – a partnership involving Waikato Regional Council and iwi - is looking to develop a plan change to manage land-based activities contributing sediment, bacteria and nutrients to the rivers. The CSG will make recommendations to the council and iwi about that plan change.

At its second workshop this month, the CSG started looking at the values various industry sectors and the community hold for the Waikato and Waipa rivers and other water bodies in the river catchments.

“We were pleased to find that the diverse sectors on the CSG actually have much the same values and hopes for the rivers, and that these are also in line with those of the wider community,” said CSG chair Bill Wasley.

“The CSG has the challenging task of recommending solutions to help restore and protect the health of the rivers, so it’s promising that at the outset we basically all appreciate and want similar things.”

The workshop included presentations from CSG members on what the rivers mean to their sectors, and a presentation of a collation of Waikato Regional Council research reports into community-held values.

The report Community held values of rivers, lakes and streams in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments (see http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/TR201331) found the following:
• More than 80 per cent of respondents think it is important to be able to safely eat food from the river.
• More than 70 per cent of respondents agree rivers and streams in the region are an important contributor to the region’s economy.
• Two thirds of respondents take part in activities in and around waterways including walking, boating, swimming and fishing.

The report summarised existing research and new research was commissioned where necessary.

The CSG started looking at values in their second workshop this month as the National Policy Statement for Freshwater 2011 places a more explicit focus on identifying community-held values as the first step in policy development for freshwater management.

“Values” refers to the qualities, uses and potential uses that are important to people about water bodies, and what they want to see recognised in their ongoing management. The CSG will hear more about iwi values for the rivers and farming systems at their next workshop in June 2014.

Meanwhile, the CSG has started to consider how the public will be involved in Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora.

“We are seeking to understand what is important to everyone, what our responsibilities are and what people are thinking,” Mr Wasley said.

“Going forward we’ll be interested in hearing what people have to say, including their hopes and concerns.”

At this stage, it is envisaged there will be a period of intensive engagement from February to June 2015. Prior to that there will be a large stakeholder forum later in 2014, between September and November.

Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/ Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai
The Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai project will work with stakeholders to develop changes to the regional plan to help restore and protect the health of the Waikato and Waipa rivers, which are key to a vibrant regional economy.

The project plays a part in restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the rivers for current and future generations, as required by the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River/Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato. It will help achieve reduction, over time, of sediment, bacteria and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) entering water bodies (including groundwater) in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments

For more information, visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/healthyrivers

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news