Southlanders value connection to freshwater
Two new local values for freshwater have emerged following conversations with people from across Southland in 2019.
Environment Southland Chairman Nicol Horrell said “Through the Share Your Wai engagement campaign we learned that Community wellbeing and connectedness and Amenity and recreation near waterways are important to Southlanders.”
Last year, Environment Southland staff and councillorsset up shop at over 40 markets, A&P shows, events and supermarkets across the region to find out more about your aspirations for our waterways.
Eighteen values had already been identified over the last 20 years through other regional and national planning documents. The Share Your Wai campaign was aimed at confirming that these were still reflective of what the Southland community value.
“Discovering these two new values was surprising and, with these new values in particular, demonstrates just how much our lives are connected to our lakes, estuaries, rivers and streams,” Chairman Horrell said.
Confirming these values is one of the first steps in the process outlined in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. The process ultimately leads to setting limits, and action plans for how we’re going to achieve those limits to improve our waterways.
More details on those two new values:
Community wellbeing and connectedness
This generally considers how our waterways can provide for people's social values, including: mental and spiritual wellbeing; the importance of family relationships and their ties to certain waterways and natural locations; social engagements and interactions around water spaces; domestic related activities; and overall human health and wellbeing.
Amenity and recreation near waterways
We value recreational activities that do not involve direct water immersion, but instead take place adjacent to waterways. Amenity and recreation generally refers to the role that water quality and quantity, and the natural characteristics that water provides in making our waterways desirable, as well as amenable to recreational activities indirectly incorporating water, like walking or cycling near a waterway.
To see all the values, go to http://waterstory.es.govt.nz/gathering-community-values.aspx
To find out more about what we heard through the Share Your Wai campaign, what values have come out of this work and what the next steps go to http://waterstory.es.govt.nz.