The Government has made changes to the existing National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM), which came into effect on 1 August 2014. The NPS-FM now provides a National Framework that directs how councils are to go about setting objectives, policies and rules about fresh water in their regional plans. Further information on the NPS-FM can be found at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/central/nps/freshwater-management.html
We are developing a Freshwater Plan to help manage the availability and quality of freshwater in the Gisborne region. Freshwater plan development in New Zealand is now guided by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (NPS-FM).
The National Policy Statement is part of a series of reforms to improve freshwater management at the national level. It requires Council to develop a plan for managing freshwater that includes objectives, water quality standards and water allocation limits. As part of the plan development, a series of catchment management plans are being developed.
The first catchment management plan to be developed will be for the Waipaoa catchment, which will include the setting of water quantity and water quality limits.
We have a Fresh Water Advisory Group (FWAG) made up of representatives from various community interests. They have been meeting regularly to guide the development of a new Freshwater Plan in a collaborative way. Meeting Notes from these meetings can be read on the FWAG meeting notes page.
As part of the wider consultation with the community a discussion document we produced in November 2013 and a series of public meetings were held. This discussion document summarises key freshwater issues for the district.
The discussion document - Freshwater planning for the Gisborne region (3mb)
Summary of document - A quick reference guide to freshwater planning (2.4mb)
A draft Regional Freshwater Plan is scheduled to be available for feedback in late September 2014. As a draft, Council wants to test the Plan with the community particularly those most directly affected to ensure that when the Plan is formally notified that there are no surprises.
Background technical reports can be read on the Freshwater reports page
The Ministry for the Environment's video explains why it's necessary for us to prepare a Freshwater Plan for our region.