A Freshwater Futures community group has been established for the Rangitāiki catchments, to inform the development of changes to the Regional Natural Resources Plan.
Through a series of workshops held over two years, the group is helping to identify community values and aspirations for freshwater, and providing advice on freshwater management options.
The group's area of interest includes Thornton, Edgecumbe, Te Teko, Te Mahoe/Waiohau, Galatea, Murupara, Whirinaki (Minginui, Te Whāiti, Ngāputahi), Rerewhakaaitu, Rangitāiki at SH5. Their work will result in a draft plan change that sets objectives, limits and methods (including rules) for improving the way water quality and quantity is managed locally.
So far, the group has discussed:
- The process for implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and what values should be provided for.
- The current state of water quality, quantity and ecology in the catchment's rivers, groundwater, wetlands and hydro-electric power dam lakes.
- Logical geographic areas for establishing water management objectives (Freshwater Management Units).
- What an acceptable state of in-river values such as ecosystem health, swimmability and mahinga kai (food gathering) might look like in local waterways, and how that could be measured.