9 Oct 2018

Mayor supports Government's freshwater plan

Nelson City Council Mayor and Deputy Chair of LGNZ’s Regional Sector, Rachel Reese, says that the announcement yesterday, by Minister for the Environment David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, of the Government’s blueprint to improve freshwater quality will support and strengthen Council’s commitment to an increased focus on freshwater and the coastal environment.

The blueprint also sets out a new approach to the Māori/Crown relationship that will acknowledge Māori interests in fair access to water to develop their land.

“Regional and unitary councils are on the frontline when it comes to managing and regulating freshwater. One of our main challenges has been ensuring national policy direction takes better account of practical, implementation issues. The Ministers have been responsive in recognising this challenge while developing a progress package of responses to improve freshwater outcomes for New Zealand,” says Ms Reese.

“The Ministers have charted a clear course, turned the waka in the right direction and as a Unitary Council with a strong focus on freshwater and the coastal environment we are committed to doing the mahi - the work - to make the Whakatū waka go faster to achieve freshwater improvements across all our catchments.”

“This is a great example of how central government, as a policy making body, and local government, as the implementer of policy, can work together to tackle complex legacy problems like the freshwater challenge in New Zealand.”

“We’ve already allocated funding through the Long Term Plan Process for freshwater improvements. We’re working with our iwi, and with farmers, foresters, landowners, developers and residents on this, and I’m looking forward to seeing what tools and ideas we can add to our programmes to ensure we get good outcomes across the board.”

“I’d like to acknowledge the strong relationships we have in Te Tau Ihu with our iwi, our business and our primary sector community, and it is good to see Lees Seymour (Nelson Forests and Nelson Chamber of Commerce) and Paul Morgan (Chair, Wakatū Incorporation), included in the Freshwater Leaders Group and Kahui Wai Maori Advisory Group announced by the Ministers yesterday.”