Regional Forum report highlights practical actions
Environment Southland’s strategy and policy committee today (Thursday 3 September) received a report from the Regional Forum, which reviewed the first year of their work and provided the Council with some recommendations for their consideration.
Committee chairman Eric Roy said the report was timely as the Regional Forum not only moved forward with their work, but also that they provided Council with recommendations they could consider for the next Long-term Plan.
“The recommendations from the Regional Forum focus on immediate practical actions to improve water quality,” Councillor Roy said. “We’ll now be able to consider these recommendations as we make progress on our next Long-term Plan, which we’ll be seeking feedback on early next year.”
The Regional Forum’s report provides a review of their first year of work. The report also provides a commentary on the Southland Murihiku collective values and draft freshwater objectives and describes the challenge ahead of us to improve water quality.
Regional Forum chair Fiona Smith presented their recommendations which are:
- Priority One: Scope and design a collective values-led hauora approach and framework for integrated catchment management.
- Priority Two: Development and maintain a curated and current web-based information portal providing a trusted “one-stop shop” for information, advice, and resources that will support enhanced decision-making and increased uptake of mitigation measures known to be effective within Southland catchments.
- Priority Three: Review and streamline selected consents and compliance processes where positive action is to be encouraged and facilitated. Map, illustrate, and publicly share the refined consents and compliance processes.
The Regional Forum was established in 2019 as part of the People, Water and Land programme. The forum is a community based group that will advise Environment Southland’s council and Te Ao Marama board members on how to achieve the communities’ aspirations for freshwater.
Hauora – a state of health, in the context of being fit, well, healthy, or robust. In an environmental context, the environment may be compromised but still has resilience to ‘bounce back’ to a healthy state.
Integrated catchment management - a way of working that uses a water catchment as the ‘boundary’ seeks to work collectively with the community from mountains to sea. Integrated catchment management considers that mountains, lakes, rivers, lowlands and estuaries are all interconnected and form part of a broader, complex ecosystem.