Changes to proposed Southland Water and Land Plan adopted
Environment Southland’s proposed Southland Water and Land Plan is to be made partially operative following a council meeting on Wednesday (27/01/2021).
Appeals to the objectives of the proposed plan have been resolved through the Environment Court, and the court has now directed council to make changes to this section of the plan.
Acting policy and planning manager Gavin Gilder said the changes are a significant step towards finalising the plan.
“The court has directed these changes to the objectives and we are taking the opportunity to make them operative. This will provide greater certainty to the remainder of the proposed plan mediation and hearing process and clearer direction to consent applicants.”
“The amended objectives provide a stronger base for improving water quality and raise the importance of Te Mana o te Wai, reflecting the concept’s significance in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020.”
Several policies as required by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 have also been included in the changes to the plan. These relate to natural inland wetlands, rivers and fish passage.
The changes to the proposed plan will be publicly notified on 20 February, for the changes becoming formally operative from 1 March 2021. Details will be available on our website from 20 February – www.es.govt.nz/waterandland.
The proposed Southland Water and Land Plan was publicly notified in June 2016. It went through the submissions and hearings process and the decisions version was accepted by Council on 4 April 2018. Twenty-five parties appealed various parts of the plan to the Environment Court. The Environment Court process separated the provisions under appeal into two groups to be heard consecutively:
Topic A – background and architecture of the proposed plan including Objectives, Ngāi Tahu policies, Physiographic Zone policies, Freshwater Management Unit polices; (note – only the Objectives have been resolved by the Court at this time)
Topic B – remaining policies, rules and appendices.
Preparation for mediation on Topic B is underway, with the court directing that mediation is complete by 1 June 2021.
You can find some Q & A regarding these changes on our website - https://www.es.govt.nz/about-us/plans-and-strategies/regional-plans/proposed-southland-water-and-land-plan/plan-q-a