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Landowners Look at Lakes Solutions

MEDIA RELEASE


Landowners Look at Lakes Solutions

For immediate release: 29 February 2008

A group set up to reduce the impact of farming and land use activities on water quality in the Rotorua lakes has announced its inaugural board members.

The new board members of the Land Use Futures Board are Chris Sutton (Federated Farmers), Graeme Young (Lifestyle Representative), James Reeves (Meat and Wool NZ), John Ford ( Federated Farmers), Kit Richards (Forestry Representative) Neil Heather (Federated Farmers), Nick Edgar (NZ Landcare Trust), Peter Guerin (Rotorua District Council), Rick Vallance (Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands Inc), Roku Mihinui (Te Arawa Lakes), Sally Millar (DairyNZ), Stuart Morrison (Federated Farmers) Tina Ngatai (Office of the Maori Trustees), Tom Walters (Te Arawa Federation of Maori Authorities) and Warwick Murray (Environment Bay of Plenty).

They have elected Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands Incorporated chief executive Rick Vallance as chairman.

The Rotorua Lakes Strategy Group set up the Land Use Futures Board late last year. The group’s aim is to provide practical ways to reduce the impact of farming and other land use activities on lake water quality.

The group also wants to encourage sustainable economic use of our land to the benefit of owners and the wider community

The group was set up to involve landowners directly with dealing with the issue of the water quality in the Rotorua lakes and finding solutions.

Key groups representing landowners including Te Arawa FOMA, Rotorua Taupo Federated Farmers, the Office of The Maori Trustee, Dexcel, and Meat and Wool NZ were invited to make appointments to Land Use Futures Board. The Board also includes representatives from the three statutory members of the Rotorua Lakes Strategy Committee.


The Board will be focussing on three key areas.


1. Researching solutions for non-polluting land management and land use.

2. Developing policy advice on practical regional and district planning options to pave the way for positive land use change.

3. Developing practical landowner-friendly (and two way) communication strategies.


Chairman Rick Vallance does not believe the answer will be found at the expense of farmers and Maori landowners.

“The solution to improving the health of our Rotorua lakes lies in exploring the opportunity to develop new wealth generating strategies, better non-polluting farming systems, entirely new land uses that are more profitable, and in some cases higher end uses for land,” said Rick Vallance.

The board has formed three sub-committees to deal with these three key areas. Other farmers and professionals with relevant experience will also be assisting the board.

Ends

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