Monday, April 22, 2024

Gisborne to host sustainable catchment gathering

Gisborne District Council will next month hold a hui for residents of the Ūawa catchment to work towards a more sustainable future for the catchment.

Council Director for Sustainable Futures, Jo Noble said the gathering will be a crucial platform for discussing how to transition forestry and farming practices away from unstable land.

“A catchment planning process can help achieve Ūawa community’s vision and values for the catchment and what Te Mana o te Wai means to the people,” she said.

“Te Mana o te Wai is central to the freshwater regulations introduced by the NZ government in 2020. It acknowledges the intrinsic connection between the community and our waterways.

“There are three planning processes at play for this catchment and each one of them has a slightly different focus.”

Ms Noble said the devastation left in the wake of floods and cyclones had highlighted the need for more sustainable land use practices.

“We know it’s important to transition forestry and farming activities away from unstable, steep, and erosion prone land, now known as Land Overlay 3B. We’ll discuss the transition pathway, as well as other forestry plan changes aimed at reducing impacts on waterways. We’ll also be asking for volunteers to join a forestry working group to assist in this process”.

She said freshwater catchment planning gives the District the opportunity to plan freshwater outcomes based on shared visions and values.

“As we review our Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan, we have the opportunity to ensure that the community has an opportunity to include their values and vision for the catchment into the process.”

“This meeting will outline how catchment planning could achieve better outcomes based on the concept of Te Mana o te Wai.

“We will also be also asking for volunteers to join an Ūawa Catchment Advisory Group to help guide the freshwater catchment planning process.”

The gathering will also see Council staff provide an outline of what freshwater farm planning includes and how locals can get involved.

“The Tolaga Bay community is encouraged to attend this meeting, participate in the discussions, and contribute ideas to collectively drive positive change.”

“Together, let’s make a difference and pave the way for a brighter, water-secure future for the Ūawa catchment,” said Ms Noble.

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