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Council confirms commitment to meeting national obligations

19 October 2018

At Environment Southland’s strategy and policy committee on Wednesday (17 October), councillors endorsed the revised Progressive Implementation Programme (PIP), which outlines the process by which the council will meet its national requirements to improve water quality.

Council had previously notified a PIP back in November 2015. Since that time, both the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) and the process Environment Southland proposed to use to implement it have changed.

Environment Southland, in partnership with Te Ao Marama Inc (as the environmental arm of Ngāi Tahu Ki Murihiku), will be working with Southland communities to implement the national policy statement as part of the People, Water and Land programme.

Policy and planning manager Lucy Hicks said the revised programme outlines the key milestones for meeting the NPS-FM, namely community engagement, supporting and facilitating action-on-the-ground, developing regional swimming targets and developing freshwater values, targets and objectives.

The implementation programme describes the steps council will go through until 2025, when limits must be set. Limits and targets aim to improve freshwater and could include the management of the amount of contaminants that can be discharged and how much water can be abstracted from a waterbody.

“Partnering and engaging with Southlanders is a critical part of the work we’ll be doing over the coming months, and we’ll be sharing more about the programme and the opportunities for Southlanders to tell us their views and get involved soon,” Lucy said.


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