Public hearings for the Proposed Plan Change 10 to Regional Water and Land – a plan change which ultimately seeks to improve the water quality of Lake Rotorua – will reconvene on Monday April 3, 2017.
The proposed Plan Change 10 introduces rules to limit the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua from land use and relates to rural properties in the Lake Rotorua Catchment.
Sessions were held from March 13 to 22 for submitters to speak to the independent hearing panel chaired by Retired District and Environment Court Judge Gordon Whiting.
Hearings were originally scheduled for two weeks but will continue to allow submitters who are yet to speak the opportunity to do so.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chief executive, Mary-Anne Macleod says the proposed rules are just one part of the long term solution to improving the water quality of Lake Rotorua.
“The development of the rules has been underway for three years, including over two years of engagement and public submissions.
“We have had a significant amount of community engagement into this entire process – our community is passionate about Lake Rotorua and it’s been great to receive their input,” she says.
To meet water quality standards set by the community, nitrogen entering the lake must reduce by 320 tonnes by 2032. Less than half of that, 140 tonnes, will come from these proposed rules where landowners will need to make changes to the way they use their land.
“This proposed rule change is just one way in which we are trying to improve the water quality for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Macleod says.
“An additional one hundred tonnes will come from voluntary land use changes purchased by the Lake Rotorua Incentives Board, 30 tonnes will come from voluntary gorse conversion to trees, while 50 tonnes will come from engineering initiatives.
“We recognise that improving the water quality of Lake Rotorua will require a whole community effort that is fair and realistic for all.”
The hearings will take place at the Rotorua Millennium Hotel from 9am, on April 3 and 4, 18-20 April 2017 and closing statements will take place 28 April 2017.
The public is welcome to attend.
All information regarding the hearing including a provisional schedule can be found here: www.boprc.govt.nz/pc10hearings