Concerns raised over Land and Water Regional Plan

Press Release – Central South Island Fish and Game

Serious concerns have been raised by Fish & Game over the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan’s (LWRP) “failure to identify or protect the values of the region’s fisheries, wetland habitats and their flora and fauna”. Media release from Central South Island Fish & Game

Concerns raised over Land and Water Regional Plan

2 November 2012
Media Release
Concerns raised over Land and Water Regional Plan
Serious concerns have been raised by Fish & Game over the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan’s (LWRP) “failure to identify or protect the values of the region’s fisheries, wetland habitats and their flora and fauna”.

Chief executive Jay Graybill also warns that in its present form the LWRP is “not consistent with the legislation, policy statements and plans as required under the RMA and the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.”

The Central South Island Fish & Game Council, in conjunction with the North Canterbury and Nelson/Marlborough Fish & Game councils, has sent in a 120-page submission on Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) proposed plan, which was released in August 2012.

“We have real concerns with aspects of the LWRP, and it is inconsistent with law requiring that the ‘life-supporting capacity’ of water is safeguarded,” says Mr Graybill.

A specific concern is the plan allowing cumulative adverse effects of discharges from existing land use activities in areas where water quality outcomes are not currently met (red zones) or at risk (orange zones) until 2017. Central South Island Fish & Game believe this is a breach of the statutory requirements.

Mr Graybill does identify positive aspects of the proposed LWRP however, such as the plan linking what goes onto the land, with what runs off it – such as nutrients and contaminants.

“Land owners and industry bodies must be held accountable for reducing the leaching rates within an acceptable timeframe.”

Central South Island Fish & Game supports the intent of Environment Canterbury in developing an integrated land and water plan to address the regionally significant resource management issues, and ensure that the region’s, freshwater resources are sustainably managed and their values protected.

“We appreciate the opportunities provided by the collaborative approach, and the steps taken toward the inclusion of environmental limits, but at the end of the day environmental sustainability is the bottom line.”

The sports fish and game bird resources are highly valued throughout Canterbury. On the basis of 2011-12 licence figures, there are 33,000 Licence holders in the region.

“In a broader context, the value placed on natural resources is also evidenced by the four operative Water Conservation Orders in the region – Te Waihora/Ellesmere, Rakaia, Rangitata and Ahuriri,” says Mr Graybill.

Central South Island Fish & Game says the LWRP must clearly set out freshwater outcomes, including limits, and activities required to achieve those limits.

The three councils now have a deadline of 14 days for ‘further submissions’ on the 435 page summary of submissions, something Mr Graybill feels is “too tight a timeline”.
ENDS

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