Strong support for Regional Council’s environmental protection work
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 10:00 a.m.
Submissions to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Long Term Plan showed strong support for the Council’s environmental protection work.
More than 100 of the 275 submissions to the Plan were directly related to water quality and quantity, where the Council proposed to significantly increase resourcing which would also increase rates.
Giving effect to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management is a key priority, and resourcing is in place to support decision making for limit setting in the Water Management Areas. The Kaituna/Maketū, Waitahanui/Pongakawa and Rangitāiki catchments are the first areas to go through the limit setting process.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder said submissions on proposals for continuing work programmes for environmental protection received very positive community feedback, with enthusiasm for the support provided to community groups and volunteers to do work ‘on the ground’.
“Submitters also supported increased work on biosecurity, increased incentives for biodiversity protection and continued funding for small-scale sewerage schemes.”
The Regional Council has carried forward funding for dredging the Opureora Channel and provided more funding for this project from reserves.
More will be spent on containing wallabies, aquatic pests, wild kiwifruit and targeted compliance work on containment pests. The Council will continue funding to Tb Free NZ for controlling Tb carrying possums.
The Council is to spend 33 percent of its operational budget on environmental protection, and 23 percent on water quality and quantity outcomes.