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


Where’s your wai? Public freshwater help sought

The public is being urged to use an on-line tool to let the Northland Regional Council (NRC) know which freshwater places they use (or want to use) and what for.

Councillor Justin Blaikie says the council is hoping as many people as possible will log on to www.nrc.govt.nz/wheresyourwai over a month-long feedback period which began yesterday (subs: Mon 22 Oct) and runs until Saturday 24 November.

“We’re keen to find out about the freshwater spots people use around Northland, and what the water’s like there, so we can work out the best ways to look after our wai (water).”

“The ‘Where’s your wai? online tool is really simple to use; people just need to visit www.nrc.govt.nz/wheresyourwai to mark their spot/s on the map, and tell us a bit about it which will both help ensure we’re monitoring water quality in the right places and also monitoring the right things.”

The tool allows people to indicate their main uses of freshwater spots for activities including swimming, fishing and other recreational activities, mahinga kai (harvesting natural resources, including food), cultural reasons and water takes (for example stock drinking water).

Councillor Blaikie, the NRC’s Hokianga-Kaikohe constituency representative, says while the council had already expended a great deal of time and resourcing on water quality issues in recent years, Northlanders had repeatedly urged it to do even more.

“As a result, water quality is one of three priority areas in our new Long Term Plan and we’ve increased funding for improving water management by an extra $5.7 million over the next three years.” (The other priority areas are reducing the impact of pest animals and plants and aquatic invaders, and boosting flood protection works.)

Councillor Blaikie says given freshwater is such a critical resource – and the associated importance Northlanders attach to it – he’s urging as many people as support the ‘Where’s your wai?’ initiative.

“The more people who participate, the better picture we’ll have about the freshwater places people use and the better we can prioritise where and how to focus our freshwater efforts.”

Councillor Blaikie says the tool will also help council see if there are any new water quality issues surfacing which it needs to focus on, identify local and region-wide issues with water quality and whether it can do more to address these.

“Finally, it will inform how we implement the government’s current and future freshwater policy directives – including swimming water quality targets (which all regional councils are required to do by the end of the year) – as there are already a few of these in the pipeline.”

He says the blunt – and frustrating – truth is that there’s no ‘quick fix’ for the region’s water quality issues. “Much of the good work happening today won’t be reflected in our water quality results for a number of years; it really is a long-term investment.”

But while Northland still had a long way to go, “the journey’s well underway, things are getting better and in fact we already have more improving water quality trends than declining ones”.

He says many people and organisations – including the regional council – care deeply about improving Northland’s water and are collectively working very hard to drive change.

“More and more landowners are investing in water quality initiatives such as excluding livestock from rivers and lakes and planting riparian areas and whole communities are getting behind local water quality plans and initiatives.”

Similarly, he says huge investments are being made in district council sewerage systems, and farm wastewater systems are being improved as a result of industry and council initiatives.

“Rules on activities that can impact water quality are also getting tighter.”

Councillor Blaikie says more information on the council’s role in caring for Northland’s water is available online via www.nrc.govt.nz/water

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels