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WAIKATO Regional Council has received just over 1000
submissions on the Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora: Proposed Waikato
Regional Plan Change 1 (PC1).
Chief executive Vaughan Payne says the number of submis-
sions are well in excess of that for any other plan change process
undertaken by the council to date.
“ The number of submissions we’ve received are reflective of the
complex issues we face in managing water quality in the Waikato
and Waipa rivers and the depth of feeling in our community
about this issue.”
He says he is pleased the community has taken the opportunity
to have their say on the proposed plan change, developed by the
24-strong Collaborative Stakeholder Group which comprised
community and sector appointed representatives.
“ The closing of submissions last week was another big milestone
for this vital project, developed by our community and affected
sectors to restore water quality in the Waikato and Waipa rivers,”
says Mr Payne.
“ This is also another big step on the journey to giving effect to
Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato (The Vision and Strategy
for the Waikato and Waipa rivers) adopted by the Government as
part of treaty settlement legislation.”
Mr Payne says the council is now focussed on entering and
summarising submissions and continuing to work with sectors and
industry to try and resolve issues ahead of any hearings process
later this year or in early 2018.
Submissions closed last Wednesday, and submission summaries
are expected to be complete and available by the end of June.
The council will then call for further submissions asking submit-
ters to indicate whether people support or oppose the summarised
Independent commissioners will be appointed to hear submis-
sions and advertising for registrations of interest for these roles
will happen within the next month.
The council is also still working through a consultation process
with Hauraki iwi authorities.
An agreed consultation plan is likely to see recommendations
relating to the partially withdrawn area of Healthy Rivers/Wai
Ora made by June 2017.
Once recommendations are made on the partially withdrawn
area, the council will re-notify that portion of the plan, as well as
highlighting any changes.
The council will also provide landowners in the affected area
with information so they can also submit on the withdrawn area
of the plan.
It is intended to merge the two processes at the earliest possible
opportunity, so there is only one hearings and decisions process.
1000+ submissions re PC1
SUBMISSIONS on the Healthy Rivers /Wai Ora Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1 (PC1), at the March 8 close-off date, were well in excess of any other plan change process undertaken
by the council to date. Pictured is the Waikato (left) and Waipa (centre) rivers and the point where they merge at Ngaruawahia (right).
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