Land Use Futures Board to be disbanded

Press Release – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

A Rotorua board established to look into sustainable land uses to prevent nutrients entering Rotorua/Te Arawa lakes is to be disbanded. The Land Use Futures Board was established in March 2007, with a diverse range of members representing various sectors …Land Use Futures Board to be disbanded

20 October 2011

A Rotorua board established to look into sustainable land uses to prevent nutrients entering Rotorua/Te Arawa lakes is to be disbanded.

The Land Use Futures Board was established in March 2007, with a diverse range of members representing various sectors including dairy, sheep and beef farmers, the Federation of Māori Authorities, forestry, horticulture, developers, the Rotorua District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Its purpose was to advise on implementing sustainable land use management and change in the Rotorua lakes catchments to achieve nutrient reduction targets from land use practices.

The Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group decided to disband the Board following a review, saying the operating environment had changed. The nature and form of landowner input into the water quality and nutrient reduction issues would be considered as part of the coming review of the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes strategy, Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters said.

“This Board has certainly proved its worth in bringing together a diverse and disparate group of stakeholders around the table to understand the wide variety of issues surrounding nutrient reduction and lake water quality. It has assisted landowners to understand the nature of the issues facing Rotorua’s lakes, and encouraged acceptance by the farming community to be part of the solution,” he said.

“The Strategy Group has always appreciated and valued the Board’s views, and it made a considerable contribution in advising on sustainable land use management to achieve nutrient reduction targets. Without the Board’s valuable input we would not have been able to make the considerable progress that has been made on improving water quality in the lakes.”

The passage of time and development of other initiatives and approaches indicated that targeted consultation and awareness approaches needed to be enhanced and undertaken by the partner Councils.

Strategy Group Chairman, Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters, said the Board was established for a three year period to bring the varying views of landowners together to a common forum. These views would continue to aid work programmes and initiatives related to action plans being developed to clean up the area’s 14 lakes.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the considerable contribution made by the late Board Chairman Rick Vallance (Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Incorporated chief executive).”

Te Arawa Lakes Trust Chairman Toby Curtis acknowledged the value of the Board in providing a forum for Māori landowners to have their concerns and views heard by the Strategy Group.

ENDS

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