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Orari-Opihi-Pareora water management recommendations endorsed

Published: 30/04/2012 2:21 p.m. 

The Orari-Opihi-Pareora (OOP) Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) has been formally received by Environment Canterbury at its council meeting (26 April).

Environment Canterbury Commissioners endorsed the ZIP as the basis for the design and realignment of work programmes, for drafting regional plan provisions. The Timaru and Mackenzie District Councils will receive the ZIP in May.

Environment Canterbury Commissioner and OOP Zone Committee member Tom Lambie said the ZIP represents the consensus reached by committee members on the local actions needed to achieve the targets outlined in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

“The Orari-Opihi-Pareora ZIP is the sixth, of ten, to be presented to Environment Canterbury so it is pleasing to see real progress being made in meeting the goals set out in the CWMS.

“This ZIP acknowledges that water is precious and it is limited. It must be managed in ways that recognise and balance its importance for cultural, economic and recreational use within a sustainable framework.

“It also recognises tangata whenua and the value they place on mahinga kai, and the priority of available high quality sources of drinking water in rivers, waterways and aquifers.

“We acknowledge that to achieve all the targets of the CWMS within our zone it is necessary to find a way to bring more water into the zone. The ZIP sets the actions and responsibilities for achieving this,” he said.

“Today’s endorsement by council is a tribute to the hard work the committee and the community has put in and it is a true milestone for water management in Canterbury,” he said.

OOP Zone Committee Chair Dermott O’Sullivan said the committee was pleased with the interest shown by the community in local water issues.

“Since forming in April 2011 the committee has held numerous committee meetings and extensive stakeholder and community engagement to gather information about the region’s water resource.

“This implementation programme is about what needs to happen on the ground to protect, enhance and improve the use of water in our zone. It is about providing for future generations.

“We received 42 written responses on the ZIP and the feedback was generally positive, with agreement on the committee’s approach to catchment-led initiatives.

“The final ZIP effectively represents the consensus reached by committee members on the local actions needed to improve water management in the zone. This consensus also took into account the wide range of views from local people and organisations, canvassed by the zone committee during the development of the ZIP.

The OOP ZIP contains 50 recommendations to councils. Environment Canterbury is leading or involved in 41 of the recommendations.

Almost half the recommendations in the ZIP relate to the on-the-ground action and awareness initiatives for biodiversity, pests, water quality, drainage and nutrient management. These recommendations support catchment-level activities to protect and enhance braided rivers, foothill and lowland streams/waterways and coastal lagoons/waterways.

The recommendations cover three overall priority areas:

  • Supporting catchment-level activities - understanding what is needed, and facilitating and leading the changes that are required
  • The needs of the environment- river management, improving water quality, customary use, drinking-water
  • Optimizing the use of the water and securing additional reliable and economically viable water supplies to meet the needs of the zone.

Establishing and supporting vibrant catchment groups are also an important part of Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone's vision. The committee also encourages industry to take a key role in working with land-owners and catchment groups to improve on-farm management.

Copies of the final ZIP can be downloaded at Orari-Opihi-Pareora Zone Implementation Programme page.

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