MOU brings improved efficiency to environmental management
MOU brings improved efficiency to Ruapehu environmental
Protecting the quality of Ruapehu’s air, land and water just got a boost with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Ruapehu District Council (RDC) and Horizons Regional Council.
Under the MOU Ruapehu compliance officers are now contracted to provide the ‘on the ground’ response to any issues associated with the dumping of refuse, dead stock and abandoned vehicles in riverbeds, and air quality complaints within Ruapehu District boundaries.
Ruapehu Group Manager Community Services Margaret Hawthorne said that while Horizons still has the legislated responsibility for managing the district’s air, land and water resources the MOU will mean a more rapid response if a site visit is required from a locally based compliance officer.
“People wanting to report issues from burning fires or pollution threats to land or rivers and streams will still need to call Horizons in the first instance,” she said.
“Horizons will qualify the call and decide if an on the ground response is required from a Ruapehu compliance officer.
“The RDC compliance officers attending the callout will manage the event to stop, or prevent any further nuisance or damage being caused, and collect any evidence if required.
Horizons strategy and policy group manager Dr. Nic Peet said that any decisions relating to enforcement action will still be made by Horizons.
“Horizons staff will also still undertake planned inspections of consented activities in the Ruapehu District, such as vegetable washers, wastewater treatment plants and farm effluent.”
Dr. Peet noted that community education is another important part of the MOU.
“As with the all compliance activities education is the preferred approach in the first instance,” he said.
“Both RDC and Horizons are excited about the benefits this arrangement will bring to the protection of Ruapehu’s environment.”
“As a district with an economy built on, and around, its natural resources the MOU helps brings the compliance end of environmental management closer together between Ruapehu’s two territorial authorities.”
Horizons 24/7 pollution hotline and free phone number is 0508 800 800.