Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Canterbury council launches future environment survey

Cantabrians are being asked to help shape the region’s future by completing Environment Canterbury Regional Council’s new survey.

Council Chair, Peter Scott says the survey is asking people to rank conflicting priorities around environmental outcomes and goals, as the Council works to update regional plans and policies that dictate how locals live and use the environment.

These include the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (RPS), which directs all regional and district plans and climate action plans that will enable communities to adapt to and build resilience to climate change risks. Information will also help with future decisions about the level of investment needed to meet central government, mana whenua and community expectations.

“The plans and policies we’re writing will impact everyone in our community differently. We know people value different things about our unique environment and sometimes those are in competition,” said Chair Scott.

“We need to understand what’s most important to our community because the decisions we make now will have a lasting impact, so it’s important we get them right.

“As a Council we need to make some tough decisions about our priorities for the environment, along with responding to central government requirements and the impacts of climate change. We need to make sure that the decisions we make represent the expectations and experiences of our community.”

Chair Scott said the survey asked some challenging and specific questions that required the community to rank different environmental scenarios.

“This survey gets straight to the heart of what people in Canterbury are passionate about. They’re questions about how we use and manage our water, air and land,” he said.

“For example, we have heard there is a lot of support for investing in renewable energy and power, however, this could have an impact on native plants, animals and landscapes, so we need to find out how far people are prepared to go one way or the other.”

Chair Scott said decisions relating to the Regional Policy Statement and future expenditure were yet to be made by Council, and that the community had a real opportunity to help influence and shape Canterbury’s future by completing the survey.

“It’s important that people take some time to complete this survey because their answers will help us determine how hard a line to draw on some of the decisions we need to make.”

“We need to have these conversations now to explore what compromises we can find, and so we can try to pick the right path between what needs to be done, and what can be done,” he said.

To complete the survey visit: ecan.govt.nz/ourfuture.

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