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Community feedback sought for water management recommendations

The Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora Water Zone Committee has released its draft set of recommendations for managing water in South Canterbury and is now seeking public feedback.

The Draft Zone Implementation Programme Addendum (ZIPA) recommends environmental limits and practical actions that will protect and improve freshwater quality in the zone.

Orari Temuka Opihi Pareora Zone Committee Chair John Talbot says the completion of the draft ZIPA is the result of two years of hard work by the zone committee, as well as input from the community and stakeholders in its Healthy Catchment Project on water management.

“This is a big step towards healthier rivers in our region. The OTOP ZIPA has been developed following many meetings, scientific research and community engagement to gather information about the region’s water resources,” he said.

“The recommendations we have made are designed to help achieve the environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits from this region’s water.”

“The community asked us, in particular, to improve rivers for swimming, fishing and food gathering and also provide reliable water for economic growth. We're looking to improve environmental flows in tributaries, better manage nutrients entering waterways, and enable access to 'alpine' water.”  

“Our draft ZIPA is definitely not the last word and we want to hear feedback from local people about the recommendations and whether they agree with the approach we have put forward,” he said.

Throughout 2016 and 2017 the Healthy Catchment Project’s public meetings were held throughout the region to discuss water management priorities.  The feedback from the meetings – including the outcomes expected by the community - helped guide the committee’s draft ZIPA for water management.

The draft ZIPA outlines more than 100 recommendations to councils and stakeholders on how to achieve 10 key community goals which focus on: flood protection and river care, safe drinking water, protecting native plants and waterway life, providing a reliable source of water that contributes to the economy, having more places to enjoy our waterways, protecting mahinga kai and cultural sites.

Some further decisions, such as what the minimum flow levels for each river will be, will be made in 2018 with the latest scientific information, as well as further consultation with those that use water from the rivers.

Have your say on the Draft Zone Implementation Programme Addendum

A community roadshow with 10 public sessions in five locations around South Canterbury will be held in January and February 2018 to give people a chance to give input on the draft ZIPA before the end of the consultation at the end of February.

This can be done by viewing the Draft Zone Implementation Programme Addendum or collecting a copy of the draft ZIPA from the Environment Canterbury office in Timaru or Christchurch, or by attending one of the roadshow events in early 2018. Local public libraries will also have copies of the ZIPA available.

OTOP Draft ZIPA Community ‘Roadshow’ details:

All members of the public are welcome to attend to learn more about the draft recommendations, ask questions and give feedback.

  • Geraldine Roadshow – Tuesday 30 January - 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm, Waihi Lodge Function Room
  • Pleasant Point Roadshow – Tuesday 13 February - 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm, Pleasant Point Rugby Clubrooms
  • Pareora Roadshow – Wednesday 14 February - 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm, Southburn Hall
  • Fairlie Roadshow – Tuesday 20 February - 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm, venue to be confirmed
  • Timaru Roadshow – Wednesday 21 February - 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm, The Grosvenor