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Future vision for the Rangitāiki River

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 10:00 a.m.

Today the Rangitāiki River Forum approved “Te Ara Whanui ō Rangitāiki - Pathways of the Rangitāiki”, the document that sets out the communities’ vision, desired outcomes and objectives for the Rangitāiki catchment.

Following an extensive process of consultation on the draft document, the Rangitāiki River Forum Chairman, Bronco Carson, was today pleased to see the document approved and start on its path to implementation.

“It is a satisfying moment for the Forum to finally see this document become a reality. It is all about everyone’s aspirations for the River and ensuring a healthy River for the benefit of present and future generations. It is about finding that difficult balance between our current needs and wants and the needs of future generation for a healthy, vibrant and productive river system.

“The River supports us both locally and regionally through agriculture, fisheries, horticulture, forestry, hydro-electricity generation and tourism. But it is also more than that – it is an ancestral river and we want the mauri of the river to be enhanced. It is home to long and short fin tuna (eel) and we want to make sure this unique animal survives into the future. The Document is the tool that will help us manage and balance these needs into the future,” Mr Carson said.

At the public meeting, Bronco Carson also indicated his wish to stand down from the position of Chair of the forum and provide an opportunity for a new Chair to take the Forum through the implementation process.

The Forum and its members took the opportunity to thank Mr Carson for his outstanding service to the Forum and the contribution he had made to date.

“I started out in the role with a strong desire to see Te Ara Whanui ō Rangitāiki through to adoption and I am proud of the work we have done to get here. I feel it is timely for me to hand over the reins to a new Chair – someone who would like to take the vision we have adopted and make it a reality for the River. It is an exciting next phase for the Forum and for the communities along the River,” Mr Carson said.

Maramena Vercoe from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa was elected and welcomed as the new Chair of the Forum.

The Forum approved a final version of Te Ara Whanui ō Rangitāiki - Pathways of the Rangitāiki and a commencement date in February 2015 when the document will take effect and published versions made available. It will be implemented through the Regional Policy Statement and through various other plans and reports such as district plans and Department of Conservation conversation plans.

Background

The Rangitaiki River Forum was formed in May 2012 by law to protect and enhance the mauri (life-giving capacity) of the Rangitaiki River and its tributaries.

The Rangitāiki River Forum is a co-governance partnership made up of representatives from Ngāti Whare, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa (Bay of Plenty), as well as councillors from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Whakatāne District Council.

You can find out more at www.rangitaiki.org.nz

Rangitaiki River