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Report on potential lake actions released

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 3:29 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has released its consultant's report on potential land management and land use change in the Lake Rotorua catchment to improve the health of the lake.

Group Manager Land Management Warwick Murray said the Regional Council engaged Beca, in association with NIWA, AgResearch, GNS Science, Nimmo-Bell Ltd and Market Economics to prepare a report analysing a suite of intervention packages aimed at reducing nutrient loads to a sustainable level.

"Although the consultants have reported on recommended packages, these are the consultants' views only. The purpose of the report was to provide and analyse policy options for achieving nutrient reduction from land use. It looks at what the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits might be of changing land use in the catchment," he said.

"We are using the Beca report as an important source of information on what can be done on land use and land management change in the Lake Rotorua catchment, and what the impacts of any potential action might be. It is not the only piece of information however; there is also a great deal of other supporting information that the Regional Council is considering.

The Council released its policy positions on land management and land use change in October, identifying the role and direction it intended to take to achieve water quality targets for Lake Rotorua. Changes in land use and the way activities on land are managed could decrease nitrogen inputs to improve lake health.

The policy positions recognised that land management changes alone will not achieve water quality targets. They also give priority for use of Council's resources to land use change over land management changes in the catchment.

A discussion document on land use and management change in the catchment will also be prepared for public feedback early next year. This will seek the community's views on outcomes that they want from land use and land management change, as well as how much change they believe is appropriate.

The consultant's report released today was one source of information used to prepare the policy positions, and will also be an important source of information in developing the upcoming discussion document.

Ends

For further media information please contactWarwick Murray, Group Manager Land Management on 0800 884 880 or Linda Thompson, Senior Communications Advisor, on direct dial 0800 884 881 ext 8149 or (021) 923 339.

Rotorua Lake lowres