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Public feedback invited on draft nutrient rules

Media Release

Public feedback invited on draft nutrient rules

10 September 2015

There’s still time for the public to provide feedback on Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s draft Lake Rotorua nutrient rules, which aim to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the lake.

Following extensive consultation Council has released an amended version of the draft rules. It now invites further feedback through various channels.

On September 16 and 17 affected landowners are invited to one-on-one sessions with Council staff to address any concerns and voice their feedback on the rules. An online feedback form is available atwww.rotorualakes.co.nz and a direct local phone line has been set up so land owners can contact front-line staff for technical information tailored to their circumstances. Phone 07 921 3377.

Council staff will also visit landowners at their properties on request. Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder says Council is committed to listening and continuing to talk with landowners around their concerns to find a way forward.

“During the past year we have consulted widely with Rotorua communities as part of our joint programme with the Rotorua Lakes Council and the Te Arawa Lakes Trust. It is clear that cleaning up the lakes is a high priority for the region, but we appreciate that there are some people who will be affected by the programme and we are continuing to have regular discussions with them. We have made good progress with identifying the key issues for these groups and have amended our draft rules accordingly.”

“We want to make sure everyone has input into the process and is informed about the rules. These drop-in sessions give landowners the opportunity to talk about their situation, find out what support is available for them and clear up any confusion.”

“There are many passionate people in our community and we look forward to receiving their feedback, so that we can collectively continue to protect Lake Rotorua,” Mr Leeder says.

Drop-in sessions will provide further information and clarification around the latest draft rules, address specific concerns in relation to individual properties, provide provisional Nitrogen Discharge Allowances (NDAs) and explain how the NDAs were calculated, and provide a forum to listen to what changes landowners would like to see in relation to the rules.

Once all the input has been collated, the rules will be publicly notified, prompting the start of the formal submission phase. Dates for formal notification of the draft rules have not yet been set. The formal period will involve submissions for and against the draft rules, followed by the potential for additional research. Hearings to consider submissions will be held before the final rules become operative.

Drop-in sessions are being held at the Regional Council office at 1125 Arawa Street on Wednesday, September 16 from 12-4pm and Thursday, September 17 from 2-7pm.

Ends


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