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TANK group grows in confidence

TANK group members met at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga on Tuesday and talked through a core set of freshwater values to manage Hawke’s Bay’s most productive catchments.

Six-weekly stakeholder meetings are helping to develop a Plan Change for the Tutaekurī, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamū catchments. It was last agreed (5 April) that HBRC councillors with voting rights both at TANK meetings and on HBRC’s Regional Planning Committee would now be active observers at TANK meetings.

The group discussed core values to apply to water quality across the TANK catchments and focused on values to manage Ngaruroro River. A revised Terms of Reference was also agreed to.

Xan Harding represents one subset of interests on the TANK group, that of Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers. He reflected on the meeting and a recent shift in focus.

“This session on freshwater values was a vital step towards the heavy-hitting, the eventual ‘gifts and gains’ agreements that different members of the group are keen to lock down – it was a good meeting,” said Xan Harding and added, “The new energy and enthusiasm from TANK members and staff support now looks set to keep this project on track.”

The same sentiment was supported by Te Taiao Hawke’s Bay Environment Forum’s John Cheyne.

“Late last year members of this group felt this project was losing focus, but new staff and increased project resourcing is showing a much clearer pathway to our recommendations being taken on board by HBRC and then adopted into the TANK Plan Change,” said John Cheyne.

Staff at Tuesday’s meeting also gave updates on tāngata whenua representation, plans to engage and inform the wider community, gave an update on the expected timing of science reports, the formation of wetland, storm water and economic assessment groups, and introduced a secure net-based portal for members to use.

A verbal report on May’s TANK group meeting goes to HBRC’s 1 June Regional Planning Committee. The next meeting of the TANK group is 28 June.

The TANK group consists of 30-plus members from tāngata whenua (representing ngā hapū and marae), primary sector, council and environmental interests.

TANK information is available at www.hbrc.govt.nz, search: #tank

25 August 2016

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