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Govt funding for Hawke’s Bay freshwater project

Amy Adams

19 AUGUST, 2014

Govt funding for Hawke’s Bay freshwater project

Environment Minister Amy Adams today announced funding of $80,000 for a Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project to develop clear criteria for assessing and identifying outstanding water bodies.

An outstanding water body is one that is exceptional in some way. It may be in relation to one particular feature or it may have a number of outstanding features, such as recreational, ecological or landscape features.

“Outstanding water bodies are eligible for special protections to sustain and manage these features. However, what is missing for regional councils are clear and consistent criteria for defining what constitutes outstanding characteristics, features or values.

“This project will lead to better guidance for all regional and unitary councils. It will reduce debate on what outstanding means for communities involved in regional and sub-regional freshwater planning.

“It will also mean less litigation and less duplication as other councils will be able to use the same criteria and assessment methodology, rather than reinventing the wheel when they go through their own plan changes.”

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 defines outstanding freshwater bodies as those identified in a regional policy statement or plan as having outstanding values – including ecological, landscape, recreational and spiritual values.

It does not provide guidance on how those values should be assessed. Water conservation orders recognise outstanding amenity or intrinsic values that a water body provides but provide no information on how to assess what outstanding means.

The total cost of the project is $90,000, with Hawkes Bay Regional Council contributing the remainder of the funding.

The $80,000 funding is from a targeted round of the Government’s Community Environment Fund.

The funding round was aimed at activities that support key elements of the Government’s freshwater programme, including implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and regional planning and community participation in freshwater management.

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