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Heretaunga Plains water hearing begins

Tank photo

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s water catchment plan change hearing for the Heretaunga Plains waterways starts this Monday 24 May in Hastings – nine years after this process began.

This plan change hearing is specific to the Tūtaekurī, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamū catchments.  The Plan proposes to add new objectives, policies, and rules to the Regional Resource Management Plan to better manage water quality and quantity.  The work behind it first started in 2012 and has been known throughout as the TANK Plan.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s chief executive James Palmer sees the hearing as a milestone in the TANK Plan process.

“We’re pleased to have reached this point where we expect to hear a range of views and high-quality presentations from submitters on the extraordinarily difficult and complex issues at the heart of how we use land and water in Heretaunga.”

“This plan change is significant for everyone who lives in and around Hastings and Napier. Water is the lifeblood of our environment, our community and our economy, and we have much to do to repair the damage we have done to our waterways,” says Mr Palmer.

“It’s also significant for us as a council that we start this hearing on a marae for the first time, and we’ll hear submissions seated among affected members of the community,” adds Mr Palmer.

This is the first Resource Management Act planning hearing to be held by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on a marae and will open with a pōwhiri.

The five-person panel of independent RMA Commissioners is chaired by Mr Antoine Coffin, a highly experienced hearings commissioner recently appointed as one of New Zealand’s freshwater hearings commissioners.

Other commissioners are Dr Brent Cowie, Mr Rauru Kirikiri, Dr Roger Maaka, and Dr Greg Ryder.

The TANK Plan was developed following extensive tāngata whenua and community collaboration through the TANK Group, with more than 40 meetings held. The resulting draft TANK Plan change was presented to the Council’s Regional Planning Committee in August 2018. After further development, public consultation on the draft TANK Plan was held in 2020.

The hearing will be held over May-June 2020. Once the hearing is closed, the Panel will deliberate and then issue decisions at a date to be advised.

Quick Facts:

TANK Group:                   Met over 40 times between 2012 and 2018

TANK Plan submissions: 240 written submissions received from public consultation

Submission points:         Over 6300 individual points raised

Submitters:                      100 submitters are scheduled to appear over the coming weeks

TANK Plan hearings:       24-26 May         Mangaroa Marae, Bridge Pa, Hastings

                                         8-11 June           Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre, Hastings 

                                         21-23 June         East Pier Hotel, Napier


More information on the Hearings schedule is online.

More information on the TANK Plan is at, search: #TANK

21 May 2021

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