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Tairāwhiti’s freshwater rules under review

5/5/2023

Council is looking for freshwater champions to help review the Regional Freshwater Plan and Waipaoa Catchment Plan.

The Regional Fresh Water Plan applies rules and conditions on activities that affect freshwater, particularly how clean the water is, and how much water can be used by people. The Waipaoa Catchment plan will be reviewed alongside the Regional Freshwater Plan.

Council is looking for people with strong connections to Tairāwhiti / Gisborne to become members of the Tairāwhiti Freshwater Advisory Group. The purpose of this group is to assist the Council in its review of the Regional Freshwater Plan and the Waipaoa Catchment Plan

Principal policy advisor Janic Slupski says this is our opportunity to protect the health of our water: “We’re looking for local champions to help us review these plans to ensure sustainable management of Tairāwhiti’s freshwater.  The review will reflect our region’s approach to Te Mana o te Wai, as described by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

“Te Mana o te Wai is a fundamental concept that defines how all freshwater management decisions are made.”

Te Mana o te Wai is about restoring and preserving the balance between the water, the wider environment, and the community by defining the following hierarchy that will be applied to all freshwater management decisions.

  1. The health and wellbeing of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems
  2. The health and needs of the people (such as drinking water)
  3. People and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural wellbeing, now and into the future.

The advisory group will be made up of mana whenua representatives and community members with specific knowledge, interest and skills in freshwater planning. We’re accepting applications on our webpage now until Friday 26 May. The group’s first meeting will be on 14 June.

Mr Slupski says tangata whenua and community input is vital to identify and understand the freshwater issues.

“We’ve got a lot of Freshwater work already underway.  We’re working on the Mōtū Catchment plan and we’re just starting the Waimatā-Pakarae, Waiapu and Waipaoa Catchment plans. Catchment plans for remaining areas will follow later this year. The plans set a vision for the future of the catchment as well as outline what we need to do to achieve that vision”

Both the Regional Freshwater Plan and all our catchment plans need to be completed by the end of 2024.

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

If you’d like to be considered for the advisory group you can find out more and apply now via our webpage.

Find out more and apply now

Contact information

Name: Janic Slupski

Email: Janic.slupski@gdc.govt.nz