Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


River Level Relief For Bay Of Plenty

Recent rain and cooler temperatures have eased immediate concerns about Bay of Plenty’s low stream flow levels, but Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are warning water users to plan ahead now for next summer.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Water Shortage Event Manager Steve Pickles said that the region has had an exceptionally dry summer and autumn this year that caused local waterways to drop to record low levels.

"That posed a risk to waterway health, so we’ve kept a really close eye on stream flow levels since March; using our real-time telemetry data, along with regular site visits to high-risk areas such as Waimapu and Tuapiro Streams as COVID-19 restrictions allowed.

"We came very close to needing extra water restrictions for the western Bay of Plenty in April through to mid-May. Fortunately the weather cooled and brought enough rain to restore base flows just in time,” said Mr Pickles.

The drought as classified by the Minister of Agriculture is still in place for the Bay of Plenty, and Mr Pickles said he's aware that pastoral farmers and lifestyle block owners in some parts of the region are still facing a serious feed gap.

"But they can now take water restrictions off their worry list, for the winter at least,” he said.

The Rural Support Trust (ph 0800 787 524) and Ministry for Primary Industries are continuing to offer assistance to people and businesses impacted by the drought.

Mr Pickles said that this year’s unusual weather pattern is a sign of more to come, so it’s important that local farmers, growers and industry networks consider preparation for next summer as part of their recovery efforts.

“A close look at our data suggests that the reduced stream flows we saw this year are the cumulative result of low rainfall since the start of 2019, compounded by the warmer temperatures experienced over the recent summer period. NIWA are forecasting another dry winter this year, which may leave us going into our next summer on the back foot with stream flows that are lower than normal.

“Regional Council has a duty to protect the life-supporting capacity and holistic health of a waterway through our water management work. Climate change is predicted to bring increasingly hotter, drier summers to our region; that could result in permanently reduced average flows and less water availability for private or commercial use in the years to come.

“It will always be important to maintain supply for domestic and stock water use. But if stream flows get too low due to dry conditions in future, we may have to impose new restrictions on less critical water uses, so that we can sustain waterway health.

“Local businesses that rely on water, should take steps as soon as possible to increase their business resilience and mitigate the risk of future water shortages. There’s a range of options that they can consider, including the use of water storage systems, precision irrigation technology, allocation sharing, and efficiency measures such as system maintenance and reduced pumping rates,” Mr Pickles said.

Mr Pickles also said that both the horticultural and agricultural industries have some great in-house resources and expertise around sustainable water management, that water users can access to help them plan ahead.

“In some instances, such as for new bores, water takes or storage pond development, resource consents will be needed and our Regional Council consents team are happy to provide advice on that,” he said.

Regional Council’s consents team can be contacted by phone 0800 884 881 extn. 9090 or email to Consents.Queries@boprc.govt.nz. Water users can also find out more about Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s work to protect waterways during dry weather, and access links to water efficiency tips at www.boprc.govt.nz/watershortage.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal

Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>

Green Party: Unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will: Establish a Clean ... More>>


National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>


Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>

Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>


Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>


Eenrgy & Environment: Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets

First published in Energy and Environment on June 2, 2020. The latest data on the Government’s attempts to reduce the emissions of its transport fleet show no discernible progress. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s data on reducing ... More>>

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


David Seymour: ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020

Introduction Thank you very much. Elections in New Zealand – like everywhere - are a very special tradition, because they are driven by you. They’re an opportunity to change your future. If you think about it, the Government doesn’t do much. It ... More>>

Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>


Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels