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Environmental protection high priority

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Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is reporting improved compliance from having stepped up its enforcement action in the region to better protect the environment, according to a new report.

Regional Council Group Manager Policy & Regulation Katrina Brunton says the Compliance Annual Report 2020-21 highlights essential compliance, monitoring, and enforcement work over the year.

“In the past year the Regional Council has continued  the tough stance it has been taking in the last three years on serious offending of activities that have had a significant environmental impact.  At the same time, the Hawke’s Bay community has steadily stepped up actions to meet environmental compliance obligations.” she says.

The Regional Council completed 12 prosecutions during the year and has a further six prosecutions have commenced in the 2020-21 year. It significantly increased the number of abatement notices to 66 for the year, compared to 21 (2019-20) and 40 (2018-19).

”Monitoring, education, and enforcement action has resulted  in strong consent compliance and fewer incidents for our Pollution Hotline. These prosecutions and compliance monitoring work sends a strong message to our community that activities which negatively harm our environment will not be tolerated,” says Mrs Brunton.

Our consent holders are also doing the mahi with 83% of the Regional Council’s consents monitored over the year being fully compliant and only 0.8% significantly non-compliant. This represents an increase in the number of fully compliant consents, including dairy, industrial wastewater, municipal stormwater and wastewater discharges.

“This level of compliance is a tribute to both our Regional Council team, and consent holders in our community,” says Mrs Brunton.

“There were fewer calls to our Pollution Hotline, with a fall of 11% of logged incidents. This decrease was because of fewer odour complaints and burning incidents, which was the focus of our educational winter burning campaign.”

Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor Neil Kirton says the report shows the Regional Council’s commitment to looking after the environment.

“This work is important for our region because monitoring and enforcing levels of compliance means that we can better look after ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and ensure sustainable land and water use.”

“Thank you to everyone who is doing right by our region and keep up the great mahi.”

If any member of the public has information about unauthorised discharges to land, air or water they should contact the Regional Council’s 24/7 Pollution Hotline on 0800 108 838.

17 November 2021

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