Time running out to have say on Proposed Regional Plan

6 Nov 2017, 3:54 PM

Just over a week remains for public comment on what is effectively an updated rulebook for the way Northland's water, air, soil and coast are used and managed.

A 10-week formal public consultation period on the Northland Regional Council's Proposed Regional Plan will end at 4pm, Wednesday 15 November.

Chairman Bill Shepherd says as of Monday, 06 November the council had only received about 40 submissions on the plan, but was expecting many more to come in as the 15 November deadline drew closer.

The proposed plan will ultimately replace three existing regional plans (now more than a decade old) and Chairman Shepherd says the council has worked incredibly hard to make it more simple, streamlined and easier to use.

"More than three years in the making, our proposed plan is less than a quarter of the combined size of the three plans it will replace and also represents substantial input by numerous stakeholders along the way."

The comprehensive plan covers a broad range of activities, including proposed rules for coastal works, earthworks, water use and discharges to air, land and water.

Among key changes are new limits on taking water from rivers, lakes and aquifers, making it easier to get permission for mangrove removal and new stock exclusion rules for rivers, drains, wetlands and lakes.

In a new approach to fresh water management, the Proposed Regional Plan also has some tailor-made rules for five priority water catchments; Doubtless Bay, Pouto, Waitangi, Whangarei and Mangere.

The full Proposed Regional plan is available online at: www.nrc.govt.nz/newregionalplan

"I've said before that it's not an understatement to label this proposed plan one of – if not the – most important documents council has consulted on for many years,"
Chairman Shepherd says.

"It will impact – both directly and indirectly – on most Northlanders in some way."

"If you've got an interest in Northland's natural resources and care about how these are managed, then my fellow councillors and I strongly urge you to familiarise yourself with the proposed plan and make a submission before the 15 November deadline."