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Tarawera River Catchment Plan Tarawera River Catchment Plan

Tarawera River Catchment Plan

The Operative Regional Plan for the Tarawera River Catchment (Tarawera River Plan) covers the catchment of the Tarawera River including all its sub-catchments, and Upper Tarawera Lakes and their catchments, but excludes Lake Rerewhakaaitu and its catchment.

Regional Plan for the Tarawera River Catchment Review

Council must formally review regional plans every 10 years and decide whether the plan is retained or altered. The review of the Regional Plan for the Tarawera River Catchment (the Plan) has recently been carried out.

The main finding from the review is that there has been some improvement in the water quality of the Tarawera River, particularly in the Lower Reach of the catchment. Some of this improvement may be due to actions outside the Plan. The review also found that the Plan was more efficient at achieving this improvement than the Regional Water and Land Plan would have been on its own.

The review also found that the Plan had many duplications and/or conflicts with the Regional Water and Land Plan. To resolve these issues, the recommendation was to replace the existing Plan with a second generation plan.

Council is currently implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and has divided the region into nine Water Management Areas. Council will engage with the community to develop limits and values for each of the Water Management Areas.

The Tarawera River will begin this process in 2018. As the limits and values will have an impact on the contents of the Plan, work on the second generation plan has been delayed until the community involvement process has started in 2018.

The Regional Plan for the Tarawera River Catchment – Review Summary Report summarises the findings of the review and sets out recommendations for the new plan.

Statutory Acknowledgements

The Ngā Whakaaetanga-ā-Ture ki Te Taiao ā Toi (Statutory Acknowledgements in the Bay of Plenty) is a compendium document to be read as an attachment to and in conjunction with the Operative Tarawera River Catchment Plan including any proposed regional plan or policy statement, and any variation or change notified by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Check out the Statutory Acknowledgements for more information.

Full plan (single PDF document)

Hard copy

If you need a hard copy, the plan costs $70 (GST inclusive) and is available to view at Bay of Plenty Regional offices, all public libraries, city and district council service centres throughout the Bay of Plenty. Or you can order a copy here.

Plan (broken down in chapters)

Plan information

The Tarawera River Plan was formed primarily to manage the effects of the discharges of the large pulp and paper mills sited near Kawerau township by managing water quantity and water quality in the river catchment. The plan is designed to manage abstraction from the Tarawera River and maintain water quality standards in the Tarawera River and its tributaries and lakes.

When considering the need for a plan, Council identified:

  • Significant conflicts in terms of differences in attitude between industry and community groups as to the level of protection required for Tarawera River water quality.
  • Significant community demand for the protection of the Tarawera River by a reduction in the discharge of contaminants into the river.
  • Significant concerns expressed by tāngata whenua on the effects of contaminant discharge to the river.
  • The need expressed by community survey to actively restore the deteriorated state of water quality in the lower Tarawera River.

The Tarawera River Plan is comprehensive and covers the following issue topics:

  • The Social and Economic Context:  Details issues relating social and economic wellbeing, and local attitudes and perceptions towards the environment in the Tarawera River Catchment.
  • Resource Management Issues of Significance to Iwi:  Outlines the primary resource management issues of concern or interest to tāngata whenua iwi whose rohe is within the regional plan area.
  • Public Access:  Outlines issues relating to public access to and along water bodies in the catchment.
  • Landuse:  Details geology, soils, and vegetative cover of the Tarawera River catchment and provides an account of inappropriate land uses and land practices.
  • River and Lake Beds:  Deals with issues relating to management of the beds of the catchment's river, lakes, and wetlands, including issues relating to the location of structures, sedimentation, and the reclaiming and draining of beds of river, lakes, and wetlands.
  • Freshwater Ecology:  Details freshwater ecology of the catchments water bodies, focusing especially on the main stem of the Tarawera River.
  • Surface Water Quantity:  Outlines the primary causes and effects of changing river flows and lake and wetland levels in the catchment.
  • Surface Water Quality:  Details the management of water quality in the Tarawera River catchment.
  • Groundwater Quality, Quantity and Land Disposal:  Deals with both groundwater quality and quantity, especially with regard to the Rangitāiki Plains, and the disposal of contaminants to land.
  • Geothermal Resources:  Manages the geothermal fields in the Tarawera River catchment.

The aims of the Tarawera River Plan are to ensure that:

  • There is integrated management of the natural and physical resources of the Tarawera River catchment.
  • The high quality water in the Upper Tarawera River catchment is maintained, and improved where appropriate.
  • The water in the Lower Tarawera River achieves an enhanced water quality, consistent with a river substantially unaffected by industrial discharges.
  • The community remains involved in the management process.
  • There is a reduction in the discharge of contaminants into the Tarawera River.
  • The mauri of the Tarawera River is restored and the balance maintained.