28 Sep 2012

Waikato looks to fellow council on water quality

10:52 pm on 28 September 2012

Waikato Regional Council has been taking a close look at Environment Court decisions covering proposed land use restrictions and water protection in the neighbouring Manawatu-Wanganui region.

But it says it will be focusing on Waikato solutions to Waikato issues when it comes to protecting water quality in its region.

The Environment Court has backed the introduction of more stringent rules on rural land use rules in the Manawatu Wanganui Regional Council's One Plan to help protect waterways in its area.

The court's rulings mean that all intensive farming and horticulture operations will need resource consents that will require nutrient management plans and nitrogen caps.

Federated Farmers and Horticulture New Zealand have lodged appeals in the High Court.

Waikato Regional Council's land and water quality subcommittee had a briefing this week on the possible implications of the Manawatu Wanganui plan, because it breaks new ground.

Sub-committee chair Norm Barker says it will also be taking notice of developments in other regions, but Waikato will need to develop its own solutions, as it's already done with protection measures for the Lake Taupo catchment.

Mr Barker says Waikato Regional Council will be looking to release at a draft plan on water quality for the Waikato River in 2015 and then extending that to other areas, in stages.