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Community core to freshwater planning

Thursday 18 August 2022

“What do you love about your river?”

That’s the question Council is asking the community to set the foundation for new freshwater catchment plans.

A catchment plan looks at how to manage freshwater and land uses within a water catchment and seeks to identify and understand the freshwater values of the area. It also determines the vision for improvements we’d like to see into the future.

Principal policy advisor Janic Slupski says community and tangata whenua input is vital to identify and understand the freshwater values.

“Values are what people love about their waterways, whether it be for their natural ecosystems, recreation, or their livelihoods – such as farming or commerce. Once we know the key values of a waterbody, we can develop a plan that balances and protects or enhances those values.”

“We’re already underway with the Mōtū Catchment plan and we’re just starting in the Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment. Catchment plans for remaining areas will follow on through 2022 and into 2023. The plans set a vision for the future of the catchment as well as outline what we need to do to achieve that vision”

Mr Slupski says “All freshwater management decisions must give effect to the concept of Te Mana o te Wai.  This refers to the fundamental importance of clean water to the health of all living things. This is a transformational change that is focussed on restoring and preserving the balance between the water, the wider environment and the community”.

The plans will become part of the future Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan (TRMP) which will include objectives, limits and targets as well as rules for managing water takes, discharges and other activities that relate to freshwater.

People are invited to share what they love and value about the rivers and streams of the Waimatā and Pakarae Catchments.

You can share your ideas here by uploading images, videos, commenting on the map or by asking the team a question. It'll all help us develop a catchment plan that puts community values at its core.

Later this month Council will also ask our community what they love about Makorori Beach as part of the development of a master plan for the beach, which is also inside this catchment area.