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Feedback on plan for the region's coast closing

Monday, 24 June 2013 11:00 a.m.

Bay of Plenty residents have until Friday to tell Bay of Plenty Regional Council what they want for the future of their coastline.

A draft Plan to manage coastal water quality, natural character, infrastructure and other activities opened for public input in mid-May and closes on Friday. The draft Regional Coastal Environment Plan outlines issues, objectives and policies for the coastal environment, including rules governing activities in the coastal marine area.

Regional Council staff consulted local district and city council staff, Department of Conservation, coastal iwi and hapu, Port of Tauranga, Opotiki Marine Advisory Group, Regional Aquaculture Organisation, Estuary Care Groups and Forest and Bird representatives to develop the draft Plan.

Changes include a new Integrated Management section that updates information on water quality, natural heritage and coastal hazards where effects cross the land and water, new policies and rules for managing mangroves and aquaculture, updated biodiversity assessments and clearer guidance on how to manage natural heritage.

Revised harbour development zone provisions include specific policies for Tauranga, Whakatane and Opotiki, and an expanded zone at Opotiki to reflect consented harbour entrance redevelopment and facilities needed for the offshore marine farm.

The Plan also identifies regionally-significant surf breaks and historic heritage sites in the coastal marine area, revises Maori cultural values and introduces new policies about tsunami.

Chair of the Regional Council’s Strategy, Policy and Planning Committee Raewyn Bennett said the new Plan would help the Regional Council to continue to promote sustainable management of natural and physical resources along the coast.

Feedback will be collated and analysed to identify concerns and where further technical work may be required, and a workshop of councillors will consider options to address any issued raised. A Proposed Regional Coastal Environment Plan will be prepared and released for submissions later this year.

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Beaches viewed from the air lowres