​National changes signaled in Clean Water Package

Nationally, the Government has signalled that further improvements in water quality will be a priority. This includes a target for 90% swimmable lakes and rivers by 2040. While this may seem aspirational to some, it highlighted to me our strong position in Southland. The Southland Economic Project and the Southland Science Programmes will provide us with both a robust understanding of the issues and an advantage when it comes to developing ways of improving the region’s water quality and those swimmability targets.

Other key changes and how we stack up:

  • The proposed Regional Policy Statement and the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan are generally consistent with the proposed amendments. For example, the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan had already included Te Mana o te Wai in the objectives. Environment Southland is the first regional council to do so.
  • The prioritisation of protecting and improving water quality (including significant values) while also recognising the importance of economic wellbeing is consistent with Environment Southland’s approach to date, and reinforces the importance of the Southland Economic Project.
  • The proposed regulations for the use of 1080 are consistent with the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan.
  • The proposed regulations regarding stock exclusion are generally in line with the national Land and Water Forum recommendations that formed the basis of the rules in the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan. The main differences are in the way the regions have been split –the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan has used physiographic zones and the Government regulations use slope classes. There is an opportunity to align these through recommendations in the staff report to the hearing panel for the proposed Southland Water and Land Plan which the hearing panel will consider when deliberating.

Read the full consultation document on the Ministry for the Environment website: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/fresh-water/freshwater-mana...

Page reviewed: 01 Apr 2017 3:47pm