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Environment Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan operative

Published: 26/05/2011 2:55 p.m. 
Environment Canterbury’s Natural Resources Regional Plan  - comprising resource management rules and policies relating to Ngai Tahu and natural resources, air quality, water quality, water quantity, beds of lakes and rivers, wetlands and soil conservation  - will be operative from June 11.

This much-awaited regional plan represents a substantial body of work, begun more than a decade ago.   At today’s monthly meeting of Environment Canterbury Commissioners, approval was given to variations that form part of the water chapters and remaining aspects of the plan previously outstanding. All appeals on outstanding matters have now been resolved.

Minister for the Environment Hon Dr Nick Smith is formally celebrating the operative status of the Plan with commissioners at a stakeholders’ function Thursday evening (May 26) and a media briefing beforehand (4.30 pm The George Hotel, Christchurch).

Environment Canterbury Commissioner Peter Skelton said the work of the council’s two hearing committees between 2006 and 2010 had been rigorous and thorough, and he acknowledged the substantial contribution they had made to natural resources management in the region. He also commended the involvement and significant input of the community and stakeholders as submitters over a number of years.

He noted that the Plan would be a living document with changes made as the recommendations of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Regional and Zone committees were incorporated into it on a catchment by catchment basis.  The Canterbury Water Management Strategy had been developed since the land and water chapters of the Natural Resources Regional Plan were first notified, requiring the planning framework to reflect the vision and principles of the water management strategy.

The Plan would also align with the Regional Policy Statement, the region’s overarching resource management instrument, which was going into its formal public submission phase in June.  

For more information: Commissioner Peter Skelton 027 636 1728

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