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TANK Plan for Heretaunga reaches milestone

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council paid tribute to the TANK community group on the completion of its draft TANK Plan after six years of hard work and commitment.

The plan sets a blueprint to manage the freshwater resources of the Tūtaekurī, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamū catchments.

The TANK Group of 30+ members met for the last time yesterday to recognise achieving a draft Plan that can now be passed to the Regional Planning Committee for consideration.

The draft TANK Plan aims to set fair rules for water use that give greater protection to the environment. The TANK Group’s aspiration has been to put the rivers and aquifer first, while being able to rely on safe, secure water when it is needed.

Regional Council Chair Rex Graham believes this is the most significant community project in the history of Heretaunga.

“We need jobs and a region that works in harmony with the environment, so this collaborative approach to developing the TANK Plan is the way we need to go forward together,” says Mr Graham.

Regional Council Chief Executive James Palmer echoes the sentiments of Mr Graham, and reflects on the pathway that has led to this draft plan.

“I want to send a huge thank you on behalf of the Hawke’s Bay community to the TANK Group members for the enormous patience and goodwill they have shown over the last six years. And to staff for their own commitment and expertise. The science and evidential base behind this TANK Plan puts us in a very strong position to take this work forward,” says Mr Palmer.

“There has been a multi-million dollar investment in science and staff time to ensure we develop a plan which will effectively manage the freshwater resources of the Heretaunga Plains and protect our environment.”

The TANK Plan prepared by the Group now passes into the hands of the Regional Planning Committee for consideration. Decisions made by the Regional Planning Committee will be relayed to the Regional Council. Finally, the wider community will be asked for their input to the draft TANK Plan, before it comes into effect.

The TANK Group broadly represents the wider Heretaunga and Ahuriri community, including tāngata whenua, primary sector, industry, farmers, councils and environmental groups.

10 August 2018

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