Rural landowners, iwi and the wider community are invited to have their say on the development of draft rules to limit nitrogen loss from rural land in the Lake
The draft rules support the work of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme – a partnership between Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
They set out how nitrogen discharge allowances will be allocated to individual rural properties using a mix of resource consents and permitted activities. The rules are likely to affect all properties two hectares-plus in size in the Lake Rotorua groundwater catchment.
“The nitrogen reductions needed for Lake Rotorua are large and challenging. We all contribute nutrients which affect water quality and we must all play a part in improving and protecting these taonga [treasure] for the future,” Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group chairman Sir Toby Curtis says.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chairman Doug Leeder says landowners will have until 2032 to meet limits that will be set for each property.
“We know that it’s not going to be easy and we’ll provide support and advice to help them achieve their nitrogen discharge allowances.”
“We need a future that includes both a healthy lake and farming in the catchment. Through collaboration and community engagement we need to make sure the rules are workable to deliver the water quality the community wants, as well as profitable farming in the catchment,” says Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick.
Lake Rotorua Stakeholder Advisory Group chairman Dr Tanira Kingi of AgResearch says collaboration between StAG and programme partners has been instrumental in getting the draft rules ready for consultation.
Public consultation on the draft rules ends October 14, 2014.For information about the draft rules and to have your say, go to www.rotorualakes.co.nz