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Tukituki Catchment Plan Change

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HBRC is working with landowners and communities living in the Tukituki River catchment in Central Hawke’s Bay, to manage specific water quality issues.  Poor water quality and declining biodiversity values need to be resolved.

What is the situation?

The Tukituki River tends to have a build up of periphyton (slime and algae) during warm summer months when water flows are low.  This compromises instream habitats and makes the river unattractive, especially for recreation.  A concern is the incidence of cyanobacteria algal growth in some stretches of the river as this can turn toxic and affect human and animal health.  Plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), sunlight and water temperature determine the amount of slime and algal growth in rivers and streams.

RWSS & Tukituki Plan

If the Ruataniwha Scheme does not proceed, that does not automatically mean that the Tukituki Plan does not apply or cannot be implemented. Int he absence of the Scheme, policies and rules contained in the the Plan for the Tukituki River catchment stand on their own and continue to apply.

The Hawkes' Bay Regional Council is seeking advice from its investment company HBRIC Ltd on the merits, or otherwise of further investment in the Ruataniwha Scheme. The decision follows the Supreme Court decision on the Department of Conservation land swap, which is required for the Scheme to go ahead.

Why did the Tukituki plan (PC6) happen?

In 2014 the government introduced the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) to improve freshwater management in New Zealand. Part of this directs regional councils to establish objectives and set limits for fresh water in their regional plans.

The Tukituki is the first of Hawke's Bay’s catchments to be focused on, with the aim being to sustainably manage the land and freshwater in a way that enables recreational use, ecosystem health, safe drinking water, decreased algal growth, enhanced mauri and the use of water for primary production and processing purposes.

What is the Tukituki plan?

The Tukituki plan (Plan Change)  is the name of the document which spells out changes to the objectives, policies and rules that apply in the Tukituki Catchment.

Who does Plan affect?

Everyone, and in particular landowners and occupiers in the Tukituki Catchment who have 4 hectares or more of production land.

What should I be doing now?

• Plan to or start to exclude stock from waterways - See our Stock Exclusion page.
• Keep records for your Nutrient Budget and talk to people that can potentially provide a Nutrient Budget for you
• Talk to Farm Environmental Management Plan providers, and register interest with industry providers or approved individuals - See our Farm Plan page for more information.
• Keep an eye on media and this website.

The goal

The Tukituki Plan  sets out both the rules and the voluntary approaches which can improve water quality and reach set targets. New rules include stock exclusion from permanent and some intermittent streams, Farm Environment Management Plans, and maintaining records for nutrient budgeting.  Putting this plan change into practice will take a coordinated effort from HBRC, landowners and the community.

Meet the Team

Talk to one of our team to answer your questions. You can also speak to your Regional Councillor. 

Land Management:

If you need some on-farm advice on stock exclusion, riparian stream planting or erosion, please contact:

Paul Train 
(06) 833 5472 or 027 533 2539 

Warwick Hesketh
(06) 833 8001 or 027 496 6289

Resource Consents:

If you have some queries about a resource consent to take water, or to install a bridge or culvert, or you are new to this and want to know the basics, please contact:

Paul Barrett
(06) 833 8014

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