Decisions on Natural Resources Regional Plan available today, October 11

Tuesday 12 October 2010, 7:57AM
By Environment Canterbury


Environment Canterbury will formally notify decisions on the chapters of Canterbury’s Natural Resources Regional Plan which relate to water, land and riverbeds on Saturday, October 23, 2010. They are available on the organisation’s website from today, October 11, 2010.

In making the information available, Environment Canterbury commissioner Peter Skelton said the notification of the decisions was an important step in the ongoing regional planning for water in Canterbury.

“The regional plan is intended to sustainably manage the region’s natural and physical resources. A substantial body of work has been carried out to get it to this stage and it is now time to notify decisions and move to the next phase of regional planning.

“Our goal is to ensure Canterbury has in place a robust regional policy and planning framework to ensure the region’s water resources are effectively managed in an integrated, comprehensive and forward-looking manner.

“Notifying these decisions represents another step towards the Natural Resources Regional Plan becoming an operative plan. At the same time we are looking widely at Environment Canterbury’s planning framework to ensure it supports the needs and aspirations for the future of the people of Canterbury.”

Commissioner Skelton said that the plan had been developed with significant input from the community over a number of years, with public input first sought in 2004.

“Between 2006 and 2009, independent hearing commissioners heard more than 1000 submissions and further submissions on the plan from a wide range of interests to arrive at decisions which provide a balanced approach to the community’s sometimes diverse aspirations.”

However, he noted that the Canterbury Water Management Strategy had been developed since the land and water chapters of the Natural Resources Regional Plan were first notified in 2004.

“We plan to review each catchment to ensure our planning framework reflects the vision and principles of the water management strategy.

“This work will be informed by the community-based water management zone committees which are currently being set up around the region. The regional water management committee, which again includes wide community representation, will also play a part.”

He said catchment plans, such as the proposed Waipara flow and allocation plan and the recently-notified proposed Pareora flow and allocation plan, were already being progressively developed as a way of ensuring community views were reflected in water management plans.

The decisions and related documentation are available on the Environment Canterbury website as an agenda item from October 11, 2010. The decisions will be received by Environment Canterbury commissioners at their meeting on Thursday, October 21, and then formally notified the following Saturday, October 23.

The decisions on the chapters will apply from the date the decisions are notified. However, anyone who was a submitter to the process has 15 working days in which to appeal to the High Court on points of law.

For more information: Commissioner Peter Skelton 0276 361 728

The decisions can be accessed at http://www.ecan.govt.nz/agendas-minutes