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Ngaruroro's Water Conservation Order and TANK Plan

HBRC’s Regional Planning Committee today discussed the outstanding values of different parts of the Ngaruroro River and how best to protect them.

A Special Tribunal to consider the Water Conservation Order (WCO) application made to the Minister for the Environment for the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers has not yet convened. HBRC staff have prepared a draft submission suggesting an approach to the Tribunal, if it meets before the next Regional Planning Committee session in February 2017.

Regional Planning Committee members have recommended to Council that the WCO Tribunal focus first on the upper reaches of the Ngaruroro River, where there is general agreement that outstanding river values in this location warrant protection.

The Committee also recommended that the TANK community process, operating since 2012, is well placed to consider ways to protect important values in lower parts of the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers.

The Regional Planning Committee supported the request to the Tribunal to commence hearing submissions only for the Upper Ngaruroro, and that they allow for the TANK process to continue decision-making about water management in the lower Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers as programmed.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has a role to ‘identify and protect the significant values of outstanding water bodies’ by law. How this applies to the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers has already been a conversation in the TANK Group – focussing on the Tutaekurī, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamū catchments. The Group’s recommendations will form the basis of a draft Plan Change, anticipated to reach the Council table late in 2017.

HBRC Chair and RPC Co-Chair Rex Graham acknowledges the possible effects of the WCO outcome on the TANK Group and its process to achieve a Plan Change.

“The TANK Group represents our community, industry, business, tāngata whenua, with over 30 member interests. Our job in also accommodating the WCO application is to navigate the best way to a fair, workable outcome. TANK Group members remain committed to this, as well as our Regional Planning Committee and Council,” says Mr Graham.

The application to protect the significant values of Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers with a Water Conservation Order was lodged with the Minister for the Environment in December 2015.

23 November 2016

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