Government's Action for Healthy Waterways statement
Statement from Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell
Environment Southland believes it is prepared for the changes outlined in the Government’s announcement today on the Action for Healthy Waterways.
We continue to support the goal of restoring and protecting the health of New Zealand’s waterways.
The package, which was consulted on last year, introduces new rules and regulations that place clear timeframes on actions to halt and reverse declining water quality.
There is a new National Environment Standard for Freshwater and a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.
These documents will help us to continue making progress towards the environmental outcomes that our communities want.
The boost in funding allocated in the budget for environmental initiatives is an important recognition that improving water quality is going to need investment to complement the regulatory changes announced today.
Environment Southland has been working with landowners, iwi and community groups to get action on the ground for many years. We have progressed the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan and developed the Regional Forum to ensure we have the policies and rules in place to support the change that is required to achieve our communities’ aspirations for water in Southland.
The announcement today has some wide reaching implications for our work programmes and our communities, but it is too early to fully understand what the impacts will be. It’s important that we take time to look at the detail and understand the significant amount of regulatory change that is proposed.
We believe our proposed Southland Water and Land Plan and the work already underway with the Regional Forum and with our communities align us well with the direction the new National Policy Statement and National Environmental Standards are taking.
More information on the Action for Healthy Waterways is available here: www.mfe.govt.nz/action-for-healthy-waterways