Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


NZPI urges Government to consider planning principles

9 July 2014

NZPI urges Government to consider planning principles in freshwater reforms


The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is urging the Government to consider a suite of NZPI-developed guiding principles on freshwater quality issues when it implements its upcoming freshwater reforms.

The NZPI has released a ‘Freshwater Quality’ position paper, as the Government prepares to implement a range of freshwater reforms.

NZPI Board Member Robert Schofield says the NZPI has an important role working with the Government to help ensure that any legislative amendments and other changes align with, and do not undermine, high quality planning practice.

“As the position paper points out there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for freshwater issues,” Mr Schofield says.

The paper acknowledges that national standards, policy statements, or guidance are appropriate to ensure consistency on some matters and to address matters of national importance, but it also argues that local and regional matters are more appropriately managed within a local context where a unique approach may achieve the best outcome.

Mr Schofield says the NZPI considers the biggest problem in promoting freshwater quality is the lack of integration between the need for land use and development and the need to manage discharges into our freshwater systems.

“It’s about a balanced approach to freshwater management. It is important to manage land use and development that affect water quality so that economic opportunities can be pursued, while also ensuring that activities are managed to meet agreed water quality outcomes.”

Other critical issues the paper identifies are the lack of long term political commitment and the need to reach across the board understanding of the causes of freshwater quality issues and focus on these.

“It’s no secret that freshwater quality continues to decline most rapidly in urban areas subject to intensive land use as well as in pastoral farming areas. However, gaining broad acceptance for water quality objectives to improve water quality in specific catchments is a major challenge.”

The position paper emphasises that clean water is integral to our economy, human health, ecosystem health, culture and identity. It also highlights that in 2012 the Ministry for the Environment graded 45% of monitored freshwater recreational beaches as either poor or very poor. Other threats to the country’s water quality include ammonia from animal urine and high bacteria levels in some supplied drinking water.

The NZPI advocates the use of appropriate tools and a community based approach, underpinned by guiding principles for freshwater management:

· Integration - Manage freshwater quality in an integrated way that considers the interaction between land use, development, water flows and allocations, groundwater, surface water, sediment and estuarine and coastal environment

· Agreed understanding - Focus on getting the community and affected parties to agree on an understanding of the uses, values and issues for water resource management

· Governance at appropriate levels - Recognising the need for national standards but acknowledging that local situations may require unique local solutions

· Setting water quality objectives - Includes setting values, objectives and limits for water quality that should, as a minimum, safeguard human health and the life-supporting capacity and ecosystem health of water bodies

· Freshwater quality management options and planning framework - includes focussing on the causes of freshwater quality issues and the effectiveness of potential actions when determining management options

Mr Schofield says NZPI members are involved at every step of planning processes in New Zealand. This includes collaboration with many other professions, organisations and groups in the preparation and administration of water quality planning.

“With their comprehensive understanding of New Zealand’s unique character, professional planners are well placed to make a valuable contribution to addressing this country’s broad range of water quality issues,” he says.

The NZPI ‘Freshwater Quality’ position paper is available online at www.planning.org.nz.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

State Sector: Government To Apply Pay Equity Principles

Legal changes are not yet in effect but the State Services Commission, on behalf of the government, and the Council of Trade Unions on behalf of unions, have agreed to apply the principles to current pay equity claims. More>>

ALSO:

Throwing Stoners: English Blames Failed Drug Tests For Unemployment

Bill English’s diversionary tactic of condemning of a generation of Kiwi workers as a bunch of drug-takers cannot hide his government’s failure to create opportunities for decent work, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news