Sub-regional planning and biodiversity key focuses for zone committee

The Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee will meet at 3pm today (Monday, 19 October) in Rotheram for its monthly water management meeting.meeting todayPrior to the meeting the committee will host a workshop (open to the public from 1:45pm) to discuss preparations for the upcoming sun-regional planning process in the zone. The focus of the workshop will be on confirming the key land and water issues that need to be addressed, and identifying where more technical information needs to be gathered.

The proposed Hurunui Waiau zone sub-regional section to the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan is expected to be notified in 2018. Plan development will start 12 months prior to this and technical work will begin around July 2016.

The sub-regional process is likely to involve review of the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan (HWRRP) and changes to its policies, rules and limits. As part of its development the committee will work with local people to develop solution packages which deliver the community’s aspirations for water management.

The full zone committee meeting will begin with updates from the Regional Committee, the Environment Canterbury Zone Team, and consent staff on the application for Kakapo Brook hydro-electricity and irrigation development.

Next, the committee will discuss how the framework in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 links values, objectives, attributes, and limits in relation to water quality and how this could be considered as part of the Hurunui Waiau sub-regional process.

The committee will then consider three local fencing, planting and weed control projects to protect the ecological values of local waterways for Immediate Steps biodiversity funding.

The purpose of the Immediate Steps 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 $375,000 has been allocated to local projects in the zone.

This means there is still more than $125,000 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 finish the meeting by receiving results of a survey of Canterbury farmers on their perceptions of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS). The survey indicates farmers agree efficient water management is essential and most are aware there are new rules governing nutrient losses. About two-thirds of the farmers interviewed said they were somewhat or very familiar with the CWMS.

The Hurunui-Waiau Zone Committee is a joint committee of Environment Canterbury and Hurunui District Council. It includes five 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, 19 October 2015 (Public workshop to commence at 1.45pm)
Rotherham Hall, 19 Heaton Street, Rotherham.

For a copy of the agenda visit the Hurunui-Waiau committee page.