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Minister endorses councils' water management

04 August 2006

Minister endorses councils' water management

Regional councils attending a national water forum in Christchurch have had a strong endorsement from Environment Minister David Benson-Pope for their innovation and expertise in sustainable water management.

Addressing the forum organised by Environment Canterbury, Mr Benson-Pope stated Government's commitment to supporting the "great work" that local and regional councils do to ensure that New Zealand's water management keeps up with changing environmental and economic circumstances.

"Effective management of water quality and availability is a priority for this Government", Mr Benson-Pope told the forum, comprising Mayors, Chief Executives, and local and central government staff from around New Zealand.

"I'm confident that the Sustainable Water Programme of Action will add value to councils' work, and ensure you have the flexibility to address local issues as they arise."

Mr Benson-Pope highlighted local initiatives aimed at supporting low-nitrogen land uses, restoring lowland streams, and measuring water use, as examples of best practice that Government can promote among councils. This would form part of wider work on setting national standards and a national direction for water management.

"A national direction is not a one-way street", he said. "We need to think collectively about how national tools can support local management. We want to work collaboratively with local government and communities."

ENDS

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