Fifteen Hawke’s Bay water bodies, including coastal estuaries and lagoons, have been classified as being regionally outstanding.
The decision was made by an Independent Hearing Panel appointed to hear submissions on Proposed Plan Change 7 to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Regional Resource Management Plan.
The Panel’s decision confirms that being outstanding is a high test. For a water body to be classed as ‘outstanding’, it must contain at least one cultural, spiritual, recreation, landscape, geology, natural character or ecology value which is conspicuous, eminent, and/or remarkable in the context of the Hawke’s Bay Region.
It might have amazing landscape, a unique geological feature, a very high number of indigenous birds, be an exceptional place for water-based recreation, or have special value for cultural or spiritual reasons.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Senior Policy Planner Belinda Harper says the outstanding water body classification is significant as it ensures they will still be there for generations to come.
“We know these areas are outstanding and it’s important to keep them that way. They are the best of the best in our region,” she says.
Group Manager Policy and Regulation Katrina Brunton says even if a water body is not recognised as ‘outstanding’ that does not mean it is not important.
“There are many other rivers, lakes and coastal areas within Hawke’s Bay which are of high - but not necessarily ‘outstanding’ - value to the people who live in this region and tāngata whenua who have special cultural, spiritual, historical and traditional associations with all water bodies.
The Regional Council is committed to maintaining and improving all water bodies in the region,” she says.
The decisions on Proposed Plan Change 7 can be downloaded free of charge from hbrc.govt.nz, search: #OWB
2 July 2021
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