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

 


ORC welcomes freshwater policy debate

ORC welcomes freshwater policy debate

The Otago Regional Council has welcomed the strong public interest being shown locally in discussing freshwater management policy issues this election.

A public meeting is being held tomorrow night (Wednesday) at the Dunedin Public Library at which three MPs: Michael Woodhouse (National Party); David Parker (Labour Party) and Eugenie Sage (Green Party) will speak.

The meeting is being chaired by Geoff Simmons of the Morgan Foundation, which has recently launched a campaign to improve water quality in New Zealand rivers.

The impetus for the meeting has come from groups representing angling, mountaineering, conservation and whitewater rafting interests.

ORC chief executive Peter Bodeker said it was refreshing to see people being passionate about water quality issues.

The meeting was a good opportunity to continue the ongoing debate about such issues, and it was also timely given that ORC is currently implementing new water quality rules for Otago rivers through the revised Otago Water Plan, Mr Bodeker said.

“We are proud of the fact that our new rules are now being welcomed by groups and individuals who were previously sceptical of whether they would be workable at all. The change in mindset has come about, I believe, because we took the community with us during the policy development, and didn’t seek to unilaterally impose it on people.”

“We have set the bar high as far our water quality standards are concerned, but so not high that they can’t be achieved by innovative thinking and a willingness to adapt land management practices where necessary to comply.”

Mr Bodeker said the key to the new regulatory approach was in giving land managers the flexibility to farm or harvest using whatever techniques they thought was best.

“An important caveat is that discharges of pollutants such as sediment, bacteria, nitrogen, and phosphorus must meet the conditions we have built in to protect water quality. Another is that environmentally damaging activities such as the discharge of dairy effluent and excessive sediment into a waterway is prohibited without exception,” Mr Bodeker said.

“We recognise that our farmers, foresters, and orchardists are among our major contributors to the regional economy, and we have designed the rules to help them remain viable whilst protecting the environment from adverse effects.”

“However, they have also been designed with the sizeable section of our community which wants to be able to swim safely, catch fish which haven’t been tainted by poor water quality, and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors, in mind.”

“As a council we will watch the unfolding policy debate with interest, and look forward to a range of positive contributions, from the community and politicians alike,” Mr Bodeker said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news