Local Government New Zealand has today supported the Government’s response to the Land and Water Forum’s recommendations on its national approach to identifying high risk catchments.
“Improving water quality is a priority for councils - regional councils are focused on managing water quality in catchments and territorial authorities in ensuring the appropriate level of investment in infrastructure to meet and improve water quality” says Doug Leeder, Chair of LGNZ’s Regional Sector.
“Both regional and district councils already prioritise locally where investment is directed. A focus on high risk catchments nationally will help to prioritise resources and direct investment where it is most needed and potentially this will create a useful policy and investment framework.
“We note that LAWF was unable to land on a solution to reduce nitrogen leaching. Regional and unitary councils are working with stakeholders on programmes to address nitrogen levels, including good management practice with the primary sector. Achieving sectoral good management practice is critical and we are keen to explore how that can be strengthened. Sectors taking responsibility for their activities is paramount to achieving improved water quality.
“Regional councils have identified aspects of the current planning process that are cumbersome and costly such as the appeal process and ambiguities within the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. We have proposed some solutions to the Minster for the Environment and are looking forward to discussing these with him,” said Mr Leeder.