Staged implementation for freshwater management policy
The Northland Regional Council has confirmed its intention to progressively implement a national policy on freshwater management over the next decade.
Council chairman Bill Shepherd says the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) sets out mandatory requirements for management of the country’s water quality and quantity.
“When the NPSFM was amended by the government in 2014, it was keen to see it fully implemented by the end of this year if practicable,” he says. “But recognising this wouldn’t be possible for most councils, it also allows councils to opt for a progressive 10-year implementation programme, provided they formally advertise that’s the approach they’ll be taking.”
Councillor Shepherd says, along with most other councils around New Zealand, the NRC had reaffirmed its earlier plans to use the staged implementation option, with councillors workshopping a proposed approach last month and confirming this at a full meeting in Whangarei recently.
“Council’s keen to ensure the NPSFM is introduced locally in a manner which as much as possible suits our various communities, builds on established initiatives and resources, but also allows for some flexibility.”
“We believe that the staged approach to implementation by 2025 is the best option for this,” he says.
Councillor Shepherd says the council will publicly advertise its staged implementation programme as legally required before the end of the year.”