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Quality freshwater for Wellington and the Hutt Valley

The Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara Committee, tasked with improving fresh water and marine environments in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, met for the first time last week to chart a way forward as it looks to implement the government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM).

The Committee, established by Greater Wellington Regional Council, brings together mana whenua partners, local and regional councillors, and community members from the Hutt and Wainuiomata Valleys, the suburbs of Wellington Harbour, the south coast and the Makara and Ohariu stream catchments. They are tasked with meeting the obligations of the NPSFM which includes setting limits and objectives for improving water quality in the Whaitua.

Tim Sharp, manager of the regional council’s Whaitua programme, said the meeting was a positive first step towards developing a common understanding.

“This was an important opportunity for the group to begin to share their views and expectations for improving water quality, in a manner which acknowledges the mana of the land, water, harbour, and the people of Whanganui-a-Tara,” says Mr Sharp.

Over the next two years the Committee will draw on the views of the community, and analyse environmental, mana whenua, economic, and technical information to develop policies and an implementation plan to improve the way water is managed.

“We have passionate, well-informed people and they understand the challenge ahead. We have to make the most of the deep knowledge within this community and to explore all of the levers at our disposal to ensure our waterways and harbour are thriving environments” adds Mr Sharp.

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