Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee complete mid-point community discussions
This week a series of face-to-face discussions hosted by the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee (RWC) drew to a close, the last of nine meetings was held in Greytown and facilitated by local community representative, committee member, Rebecca Fox. The committee has held meetings from Kopuaranga in the north of the catchment to Pirinoa in the south. Around two hundred and fifty people have participated in the conversations which have also included an online and postal option.
The RWC has been looking for community inspired solutions towards long-term land and water management in the Ruamāhanga River catchment. Meetings focussed on three key areas: water quality, water allocation and the natural character of the river.
"I have seen many interested and engaged people come out to meetings and tell us they accept that changes in land and water management are inevitable and they want to be part of the journey. This is such a positive starting point," said Fox.
"As a committee we come from different starting points but through our discussions we have developed an understanding of each other's perspectives. Achieving a broad level of understanding across the community will help us implement changes to regional policy and, ultimately, our vision for land and water management in the Ruamāhanga River catchment."
In May the committee reached a major milestone on its journey to develop a community-led action plan for the Ruamāhanga River Catchment - a vision for the future: "Wairarapa - where water glistens". The 'vision' is an aspiration developed on behalf of the community following extensive discussions with those who have an interest in land and water management in Wairarapa.
The committee has largely completed an extensive information gathering stage. They will now begin structuring possible scenarios, or options, for land and water management in the Ruamāhanga River catchment. Information and ideas gathered from the recent community meetings will help inform some of the scenarios the committee consider. They will produce a draft Whaitua Implementation Programme towards the end of 2016 which will be shared widely with the community before being presented to Greater Wellington Regional Council for approval. It will then become a specific set of rules and methods that apply to land and water management matters in the Ruamāhanga River catchment.
Read more about the work of the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee: www.gw.govt.nz/ruamahanga-whaitua/.
Media enquiries to: 021 914 266.
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