Editorial: One tough process - but necessary
WARWICK RASMUSSEN - DEPUTY EDITOR
OPINION: The Environment Court ruling on the One Plan should not be seen as a win-lose situation. That view may not be shared by many, but the landmark decision certainly put a line in the sand about how land should and can be used. It will be challenged, and ignored by some.
However, the overall aim of the plan - to better manage and work our land and water resources - surely makes sense.
And being eight years in the making, the back-and-forth negotiations needed to end, otherwise the whole process would have been pointless.
Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, the status quo simply wasn't an option that should have been on the table. Change was needed.
The monitoring and consent conditions were a jumble of rules and regulations.
At the very least, the One Plan brought some clarity to the table in one document.
As former Horizons Regional Council compliance boss and plan architect Greg Carlyon said, using education and awareness only went so far. It helped make people realise what was happening and what could be done, but it didn't really have any teeth. Regulation and enforcement were the only options in his mind.
The farming community has come a long way since the One Plan idea was first floated. The improvements on land and water use have advanced dramatically. There is still room for much more improvement.
There will be costs to keep in line with the plan, there is no doubt. That is offset, to some degree, by improving environmental standards and also an enhanced image that the country's primary sector is working in a way that limits damage to the earth, air and waterways. The transition will be a tricky one and there's no doubt that there will be a tough settling-in period for many.
The change is necessary as it is the way that the world is moving. Gone are the days where farmers and land users treat their natural environment with reckless disregard. This approach will require a mindset change, but it is one that more and more New Zealanders demand.
Only time will tell whether they get the balance right between the needs of those who work the land and the needs of the environment.
Manawatu rugby fans are in for a treat this weekend. First, there's the All Blacks' test in Wellington where Turbos team-mates Aaron Smith and Aaron Cruden will start for the first time together for the national team, against Argentina. Then, on Sunday, Manawatu look to build on their big win over Northland on Wednesday night when they take on Tasman at FMG Stadium. Two from two, please.
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