Have your say on safeguarding Wellington’s fresh and coastal waters
Measures to maintain and enhance Wellington waterbodies are among proposed changes to Greater Wellington’s Natural Resources Plan (NRP) unanimously supported by regional councillors at yesterday’s council meeting.
NRP Change 1, which includes policies and rules to protect fresh and coastal waters, as well as Te Awarua-o-Porirua (Porirua Harbour) and Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour), will now move to public consultation.
Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter says the proposed changes would strengthen the role of Council and mana whenua as kaitiaki, ensuring water and land use is managed sustainably.
“Wellingtonians want to swim and collect kai in their awa and moana. They want healthy wai, thriving ecosystems and a regional council committed to protecting te taiao.” Cr Ponter says.
“Following years of in-depth discussion with mana whenua and our communities, we’ve reached a key milestone today, in proposing significant changes that will safeguard our fresh and coastal waters by managing land-based activities that affect them.”
Development of Change 1 has been driven by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) and mana whenua and community direction for improved water quality through Council's Whaitua programmes. (WIPs).
“Implementation Programmes for Porirua and Wellington capture a holistic viewpoint, with valuable input from mana whenua, community and local councils on the work required to restore Te Mana o te Wai”, Cr Ponter says.
Te Upoko Taiao Chair and regional councillor David Lee acknowledges the vital role of the Whaitua Committee members and mana whenua have played throughout the community-led process.
“Greater Wellington wishes to acknowledge the mahi of our Whaitua Committee members and mana whenua, whose unwavering commitment and vast array of knowledge have been instrumental in setting these proposed freshwater standards.”
Under the NPS-FM, regional councils must introduce regulations that extend protection of freshwater, and non-regulatory measures like action plans to achieve water quality targets.
Greater Wellington Environment Committee chair Penny Gaylor says NRP Change 1 aims to reduce the amount of contaminants being discharged to water bodies from activities like earthworks and urban development.
“It also recommends amendments to regional biodiversity schedules, to protect more of our precious native plants, animals and ecosystems, like the black coral colony recently identified on the Kāpiti Coast.”
Consultation on Change 1 to the National Resources Plan is open from 30 October until 15 December 2023.
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