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

 

Staff hold science discussions with Manuherikia catchment

MEDIA RELEASE

19 July 2018

ORC staff hold science discussions with Manuherikia catchment

The Otago Regional Council met with irrigators and water permit holders in Omakau for a series of sessions to explain the science that informs the draft minimum flows.

In total, five sessions were held on Wednesday and Thursday, which focused on tributaries in the Manuherikia catchment. This included Dunstan, Lauder, Thomsons and Chatto creeks, along with a session focusing on the main stem of the Manuherikia River.

Staff from the Environmental Resource Science unit presented detailed information on the ecology and hydrology of the Manuherikia catchment.

“Following on from an initial round of community sessions in early June, we had clear feedback from the community, that they wanted to hear more about the science that underpins the draft minimum flow limits,” said Chief Executive Sarah Gardner.

“With a series of irrigation schemes, many of which originated from the old days of goldmining, the Manuherikia catchment is a complex one. These sessions have given us an opportunity to explain the ecology and hydrology of the catchment while listening to the community and verifying what we know. While the conversations have been robust and constructive, we’re happy with the number of people who have turned-out. It has made the sessions very worthwhile,” said Mrs Gardner.

Social, economic and cultural reports are yet to be completed for the Manuherikia catchment. When finalised, these reports will help determine the minimum flow limits that will be put forward for notification.

“In line with the Council resolution was that was passed on 27 June, we’ll be continuing to work with the community as we progress through this plan change, and as these reports become available,” said Mrs Gardner.

A similar science session focusing on the Upper Cardrona catchment, will take place in Wanaka next week.

Mrs Gardner made an organisational commitment to hold more meetings in order to share and understand data from irrigators.

She said, “This will inform the development of a model that will allow us to run a variety of scenarios to evaluate surety and contribute to further economic analysis. One of those scenarios will include the current minimum flow that irrigators on the main stem manage.”

The data presented to the attendees was collected from two sources: resource consents and data collected from flow monitoring and flow gauging.

Mrs Gardner concluded, “We recognise that this is not a complete data set. In order to ensure our science is as accurate as possible, we need the ongoing assistance of the community to supply the data they have and to continue attending these sessions moving forward.”

Minimum flows website: https://yoursay.orc.govt.nz/minimumflows

ENDS

Background

Manuherikia Catchment

Minimum flows are set to provide a management regime that will look after the values of a river during periods of low flow. Low flow periods pose a “crunch time” for aquatic ecosystems as habitat and food availability for many aquatic organisms tends to decrease.

The values that a minimum flow will support in the Manuherikia catchment are:

• Recreation, for example, swimming particularly in the lower reaches

• Trout habitat, the Manuherikia catchment is a regionally significant fishery

• Long fin eel, this is a specific cultural value

• Water use for irrigation

• Maintaining the natural character and safeguarding the health of waterways

Setting Minimum Flows

Section 30 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) requires regional councils to set levels and flows for water bodies, where appropriate.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (NPSFM) requires every water management unit to have ‘environmental flows and/or levels’ and to phase out over-allocation and ensure efficient water use.

There are a number of historic ‘deemed permits’ in Otago which provide rights to take water which have not yet been required to comply with take restrictions such as minimum flows. Under the RMA these expire in 2021 and the process of replacing deemed permits with resource consents has begun. Plan changes for catchments with high numbers of deemed permits are now prioritised to ensure as much certainty as possible for those applicants replacing deemed permits.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Legal Issues: Gordon Campbell On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

Yesterday’s interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public.

Apoparently, the fuel industry is an oligopoly where the Big Three (BP, Mobil and Z) that import 90% of this country’s fuel also control the supply, pricing, profit margins etc etc, from wharf to petrol pump, thereby all but throttling genuine competition at every stage along the way. More>>

 

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels