Water management plan before council

The Kaikoura Water Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP) was received by the regional council at its meeting last Thursday.

The underlying philosophy of the strategy is that communities - via water management zone committees - are best placed to make decisions on local water management.

Environment Canterbury commissioner and Kaikoura water zone committee member David Bedford said the Kaikoura ZIP represented the consensus reached by committee members on local actions needed to improve water management locally.

"The recommendations will give effect to the vision and principles of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) in the Kaikoura zone," he said.

Committee chairman Derrick Millton said the group had worked collaboratively with stakeholders and community members to develop recommendations for water management that are acceptable to a wide range of interests.

The Kaikoura programme for water management is the ninth of 11 programmes to be formally received by ECan. The Kaikoura District Council is expected to receive the ZIP at its council meeting on November 21.

Since its establishment in July 2011, the zone committee has held 15 formal meetings, as well as a number of workshops. Members have also gone on a series of field trips to get a practical sense of water management requirements in the zone.

The committee released its draft ZIP in August 2012 and held community and stakeholder meetings to gather feedback from people across the zone.

The committee received 29 written responses on its ZIP and welcomes community input and involvement going forward. Mr Millton said how water was used was crucial to the future of the region.

"The role of the zone committee is to work with the local community to develop water management solutions that will benefit our region for generations to come," he said.

"The completion of the Kaikoura Zone's first programme for water management is vital to ensuring the region's water is managed effectively."

Mr Millton said the committee between them had a wide diversity of experience and all reasonable endeavour was made to capture a diverse range of opinions in the ZIP. The feedback the group received from people at the community meetings was also important as it ensured a wide-range of opinion was canvassed and then reflected in the final version of the ZIP, he said.

More than one-third of the recommendations in the ZIP relate to scientific investigations and monitoring to provide more information for planning and future projects. Other recommendations include working with landowners on catchment management, wetland protection, biodiversity enhancement, nutrient management, and water use efficiency.

● The ZIP is available at ecan.govt.nz

Kaikoura Star