Waimakariri Water Management Recommendations Accepted

Press Release – Environment Canterbury

MEDIA RELEASE December 15, 2011 Waimakariri Water Management Recommendations Accepted The Waimakariri water management zone implementation programme has been formally received by Environment Canterbury at its council meeting today (Thursday December …MEDIA RELEASE
December 15, 2011


Waimakariri Water Management Recommendations Accepted

The Waimakariri water management zone implementation programme has been formally received by Environment Canterbury at its council meeting today (Thursday December 15, 2011).

Environment Canterbury Commissioners voted unanimously to “endorse the Waimakariri Zone Implementation Programme as the basis for the design and realignment of work programmes, for drafting regional plan provisions and for preparation of a draft Long Term Plan”.

Waimakariri District Council will receive the Waimakariri Zone Implementation Programme at its council meeting scheduled for February 2012.

Environment Canterbury Commissioner Rex Williams, who sits on the Waimakariri committee, said the Zone Implementation Programme represents the consensus view of the committee members after many months of meetings, workshops, fieldtrips, meetings with stakeholders, as well as community engagement and feedback.

The Waimakariri zone in North Canterbury is bounded to the south by the Waimakariri River and to the north by the Waimakariri-Hurunui district boundary and follows the boundary of Waimakariri district inland west of Lees Valley.

Murray Lang, chair of the Waimakariri Zone Committee said there were 37 written responses on the draft Zone Implementation Programme.

“Most of the feedback was supportive of the approach taken in the ZIP and the priority areas for water management,” said Murray Lang.

The areas in the draft ZIP that generated most interest and comment were:
• Braided rivers – including improved management and flow in the Ashley/Rakahuri River
• Nutrient management and water use efficiency
• Water quantity and storage (including the proposed Lees Valley storage option)
• Biodiversity and wetlands
• Restoration of natural waterways.

“The zone committee adopted a set of guiding high-level principles to help develop the Zone Implementation Programme.

“These included a ‘whole of waterways’ approach, similar to the Maori concept of ‘mountains to the sea’ (Ki Uta Ki Tai).

“The concept of kaitiakitanga – or guardianship – has also been integrated into all areas of the Zone Implementation Programme to address water quality and quantity concerns as well as provide for improved cultural outcomes.

“The pathways and recommendations in the Zone Implementation Programme represent an integrated approach to water management and should not be taken in isolation.

“We also expect the collaborative approach used in the development of the Zone Implementation Programme to carry through to the implementation of the recommendations,” said Murray Lang.

The Waimakariri Zone Implementation Programme includes 56 recommendations to Environment Canterbury, to Waimakariri District Council, as well as to other parties. The recommendations, however, do not have statutory weight and will need to be given effect through council plans and work programmes.

Around half of the recommendations relate to on-the-ground action. These include 10 biodiversity recommendations focused on weed control, restoration of two significant wetlands in the zone, coastal wetland protection, as well as a number of Immediate Steps freshwater biodiversity projects.

There are also recommendations on land use and water quality, including programmes for lowlands waterways, an extension programme for nutrient management, communication of scientific data, and investigations into how audited self-management could work in the zone. These programmes involve Environment Canterbury and other organisations working collaboratively to achieve the desired outcomes.

A copy of the Waimakariri Zone Implementation Programme is available at:

http://ecan.govt.nz/get-involved/canterburywater/committees/waimakariri/Pages/waimak-zone-implementation-programme.aspx

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