Nutrient management key focuses at Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee Meeting

The Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee will meet in Waiau on Monday, 20 October, for its monthly water management meeting.

The meeting will begin with an update from the Regional Committee before it goes on to consider a weed control project near the Hanmer Springs township for Immediate Steps biodiversity funding.

The purpose of the Immediate Steps (IMS) programme is to protect and restore freshwater and water-use affected terrestrial biodiversity in Canterbury. Zone Committees are responsible for distributing the funding and so far around $300,000 has been allocated to local projects in the zone.

This means there is still more than $200,000 available so if you know of a local biodiversity project that would benefit from funding support, search Immediate Steps at www.ecan.govt.nz for more information and an application form.

The committee will then turn its focus to nutrient management and discuss correspondence it received from the Hurunui SNA Group expressing their concerns about the biodiversity information to be included in Farm Environment Plans (FEPs). FEPs are a tool to improve land and water management, in particular to reduce losses of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microbial contaminants from farm land. The nature of the vegetation on a farm and its location will influence the amount, nature and management of nutrient and sediment losses.

The committee will then confirm the establishment of its Hurunui Nutrient Working Group which it agreed to form at last month’s meeting to address issues raised by dryland farmers around the fairness of the nutrient management provisions in the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan.

The zone committee has been particularly focused on how it can work with its partners and the community to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the zone’s waterways to allow for more development within existing rules by encouraging efficient land-use.

Following this, the committee will discuss the planned actions and partnerships required to implement its water management recommendations over the next five years to address these and other issues.

At the meeting, the committee will also receive results from water quality monitoring in Jed Catchment, which the community has identified as a particular concern. The committee is particularly keen to identify the primary sources of contaminants in the river and encourage the establishment of a Jed River catchment group.

The Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee is a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and Hurunui District Council. It includes seven community members, two Rūnanga representatives, and one each from Hurunui District Council and Environment Canterbury.

Meeting information

Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee meeting
3.00pm, Monday 20 October, 2014
At the Waiau Hall, 3 Cheviot Street, Waiau
For an agenda visit the Hurunui Waiau committee page at www.ecan.govt.nz/canterburywater .