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Lake Taupo joint action plan launched

Lake Taupo joint action plan launched

An action plan to improve and protect Lake Taupo's water quality was launched by the Environment Minister Marian Hobbs today. It is the culmination of three years' work by the 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia project, funded largely by the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund.

"The government is committed to a long-term vision of protecting Lake Taupo's water quality," Marian Hobbs said. "It is the first time that tangata whenua, the community and local and central government agencies have engaged in developing a comprehensive strategy and action plan for Lake Taupo.

"The 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia project is a partnership between Environment Waikato, Taupo District Council, Ngati Tuwharetoa and central government. The project establishes community expectations and develops ways to meet them. This includes building on cultural and tourism opportunities for the Lake Taupo." Marian Hobbs said the action plan supports and will help implement ways to protect the water quality of the lake.

The plan will make an important contribution to the $82 million package that the government, Taupo district and Environment Waikato agreed to jointly fund. Of that amount, the government has committed around $37 million and Environment Waikato and Taupo District Council have committed $27 million and $18 million respectively to the funding. This package will encourage pastoral farmers to diversify to low nitrogen land uses through a mixture of financial incentives and advisory services over 15 years. The programme will:

Reduce manageable nitrogen levels in Lake Taupo by 20 per cent. Develop robust land use regulations that prevent or severely limit landowners'ability to increase nitrogen inputs when converting forestry to pasture and intensifying existing pastoral production within the catchment. Provide practical advice and assistance to farmers and other land owners for business planning, research into land uses that are low nitrogen producing and to help maintain a viable rural economy.

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