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Outstanding Water Bodies Plan ChangeTe mahere panoni ā-manga wai whakaharahara

The Regional Council is working to identify outstanding water bodies in the Hawke’s Bay rohe to ensure our most treasured waterways are protected and provided for well into the future.

OWB photo

Over the past 2 years, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has been working towards identifying outstanding water bodies (OWB) within the region. This is a key aspect of implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM).

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council proposes to change the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) to include a list of the region’s outstanding water bodies, together with a framework which prescribes a high level of protection for these water bodies in future plan making.  That change to the RPS is referred to as ‘Plan Change 7’ or the ‘OWB Plan Change.’

The Draft Outstanding Water Bodies Plan Change is currently in pre-notification consultation phase and we invite your comments. Please note the deadline for feedback is 14 June 2019. You can email your comments to belinda@hbrc.govt.nz    

Overview

Our coastal and fresh waters are essential to New Zealand’s economic, environmental, cultural and social well-being - highly valued for their cultural and recreational values. They underpin important parts of New Zealand’s biodiversity and natural heritage.

Regional councils are tasked with ensuring all of New Zealand’s water bodies are managed wisely.  The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement set a clear national direction to assist regional councils to manage water bodies in a consistent, integrated and sustainable way.

A number of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and coastal areas are iconic and well known globally for their natural beauty and unique values. The NPSFM recognises this, and allows for exceptional water bodies to have special protection. Protection does not lesson the importance of, or value associated with other water bodies, which are managed through other parts of the NPSFM.

Background

In June 2017, this Regional Council endorsed an approach, co-designed with tāngata whenua representatives of the Regional Planning Committee, to identify outstanding water bodies in Hawke’s Bay.

Staff carried out a high-level review of 90 publications, which documented the cultural, spiritual, recreation, landscape, geology, natural character and ecology values associated with 130 water bodies across the region. This was done to build a clearer picture of their value and potential for being classified as outstanding.

Mid 2018, the high level review findings were reported to the Regional Planning Committee. The Regional Planning Committee selected a list of 22 candidate OWB to proceed for secondary assessment by Council staff. The secondary assessment associated with each of the 22 candidate outstanding water bodies can be found in the table to the right of this page.

Following completion of the secondary assessments, staff sought feedback from iwi authorities, territorial authorities, key stakeholder groups and the general public on Plan Change 7. Feedback from this process featured requests for an additional 20 water bodies to be identified as Outstanding Water Bodies for NPSFM purposes. For clarification, individual secondary assessments were not carried out for the 20 additional nominated water bodies, however their associated values can be found in the report titled “Selecting a list of outstanding water bodies in Hawke’s Bay”.  

In December 2018, Council staff contracted a local expert panel to evaluate, categorise and identify outstanding characteristics, for all value sets, from the list of 22 candidate OWB and the additional 20 water bodies put forward by key stakeholders, iwi authorities and the general public. The report and recommendations of the local expert panel can be found here.

In May 2019, the Regional Planning Committee selected the list of water bodies shown to the right of this page for inclusion in Draft Plan Change 7.  More information regarding the development process of Plan Change 7 and summaries of the values associated with each of the outstanding water bodies identified in Plan Change 7 can be found in the report titled “Selecting a list of outstanding water bodies in Hawke’s Bay” . The appendices to this report can be found under relevant documents.

Feedback

The Regional Council is seeking feedback on Draft Plan Change 7, which includes the draft list of outstanding water bodies . You can view the Draft Plan Change documents here, and provide your feedback to belinda@hbrc.govt.nz. Please note the deadline for feedback is 14 June 2019

More information regarding the development process and summaries of the values associated with each of the outstanding water bodies identified in Plan Change 7 can be found in the report titled “Selecting a list of outstanding water bodies in Hawke’s Bay”.  The appendices to this report can be found under relevant documents to the right of this page.  

Next steps

Mid 2019 – The Regional Planning Committee will consider comments received on Draft Plan Change 7 and decide if Draft Plan Change 7 requires amending prior to notification. 

July 2019 -  Public notice of Proposed Plan Change 7 and formal public submissions invited.

Early/mid 2020 - Hearings will be held, considering all submissions on Plan Change 7

Late 2020 – Hearing Panel decisions released 

Water Conservation Order

The Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers are also being considered for protection under a Water Conservation Order. This is a separate process.

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