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Plan of attack mooted for lakes Rotorua & Rotoiti

Joint plan of attack mooted for lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti

For immediate release: Thursday 4 December 2003

Sister lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti require “a joint plan of attack” to fix them up but their problems are different and may need to be worked on separately.

Though linked by the Ohau Channel, the lakes face quite different issues that are best tackled by separate working groups, suggests Rotorua Lakes Strategy joint committee chairman Grahame Hall. An Action Plan to improve the quality of the lakes is being developed with community input next year.

The strategy’s three partners, Environment Bay of Plenty, Rotorua District Council and Te Arawa Trust Board, met on Wednesday 3 December to discuss various options.

Lake Rotorua has a city on its shores, smaller settlements around it, and sits in a large catchment with many dairy farms. Both urban and rural land uses have an impact on water quality so managing the land will probably be the key focus of any Action Plan, Mr Hall says.

On the other hand, Lake Rotoiti’s main problem is the water flowing into it from Lake Rotorua. Its Action Plan is more likely to involve engineering solutions, like a barrier to divert the Lake Rotorua water.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s Paul Dell, who is coordinator of the Rotorua Lakes Strategy, presented a possible model for Action Plan development to a meeting of Environment Bay of Plenty’s regulation and monitoring committee last month. His model shows two working parties focused on their different lake catchments. A combined group, with several members taken from each, would pull together a joint Action Plan.

“Because of the linked nature of lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti, we will need to develop a single Action Plan. But there are quite different issues that relate to the two lake catchments,” Mr Dell says.

A community meeting will be called in late January to set up the working group or groups, which will involve community residents.

For information about the work planned for the Rotorua lakes go to www.envbop.govt.nz.


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