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New zone plan for Taupō catchment

A new high-level plan to guide Waikato Regional Council’s work to promote a healthy catchment in the crucial Lake Taupō zone has been approved by the integrated catchment management committee today.

The Lake Taupō catchment, covering nearly a tenth of the Waikato region, contains the country’s largest lake and 11 smaller lakes, as well as significant hydroelectricity schemes and geothermal resources, and is home to major tourist attractions.

“Our new Taupō Zone Plan sets the strategic direction for Waikato Regional Council’s integrated catchment management activities in the area over the next 10 years,” said Sue Yerex, chair of the local zone catchment committee involving community representatives which oversees the council’s work.

“It provides a solid basis for our catchment management activities that play an important role in protecting and enhancing freshwater, soil, biodiversity and other assets in the catchment, and supporting our vision of Taupō – healthy catchment, healthy people.”

Besides work on traditional areas of activity that will build on past achievements, the plan signals a shift to a broader focus on water quality, maintaining and protecting indigenous biodiversity, and reducing the risk from pests within the catchment.

Ms Yerex stressed the committee and council couldn’t work in isolation to achieve the catchment vision.

“Maintaining and growing partnerships with iwi, agencies and key stakeholders such as the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, Department of Conservation, Taupō District Council, the agricultural and forestry sectors, landowners and the wider community will be essential.”

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