Residents have until July 17 to have their say on new rules that will apply to freshwater bodies, including rivers, streams, lakes, aquifers, springs and groundwater.
Auckland Council is required to amend the Auckland Unitary Plan by the end of 2024 to give effect to central government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM).
Council general manager plans and places John Duguid says these changes will affect how land can be used and developed where freshwater is affected such as through sediment discharges. They also seek to protect freshwater to ensure it is allocated appropriately and that threatened species can flourish.
The feedback will be used to inform the changes that will be made to the AUP, including setting freshwater water management targets, resource use limits and plan provisions that will apply to land and water use. Feedback collated in earlier water related consultations will also be considered.
Environment and Climate Change committee chair Councillor Richard Hills says action is needed quickly to reverse the decades of degradation that has been done to rivers, lakes and streams.
“We know water is precious; that’s why we developed and adopted the Auckland Water Strategy earlier this year,” he says.
“As our region has developed and our population increased, the health of our water sources has depleted at the expense of our ecosystems and wider natural environment. We can’t afford to keep going the way we have been or one day, we will be too late to turn back the clock and some of the things we take for granted will be lost.”
A pop-up event was held at the Warkworth Library on June 18 and an online webinair is scheduled for Thursday June 30, from 5.30pm to 7pm. Registrations is required. Go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jOGzyw1HSKKMbadAYKzYMA