2 September 2014
Rural and urban sectors engaged in rivers process
Sheep and beef farmers and Hamilton city’s water and wastewater treatment plants have both been involved recently with
the Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai process aimed at protecting the Waikato and Waipa
The project’s Collaborative Stakeholder Group – a representative group which is looking to develop a proposed regional
plan change for the rivers – has visited the Hamilton city plants to hear about rules and regulations that control
discharges to the Waikato River.
The CSG’s chair Bill Wasley said it was interesting to hear about Hamilton City Council’s ongoing improvements to its
“Along with farmers and many other groups they’re working towards improving the health of the river.”
This month CSG members are to visit Lake Ohakuri hydroelectric power station, Wairakei geothermal power station and the
Kinleith pulp and paper mill. All use Waikato River water.
Meanwhile, about 100 sheep and beef farmers have attended meetings in Huntly, Otorohanga and Putaruru about Healthy
At the meetings, organised by Beef + lamb New Zealand, farmers were provided by project team members with an overview of
Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora.
CSG sheep and beef sector representative James Bailey was there to hear farmers’ comments: “Farmers are keen to get on
the front foot environmentally, if they’re not already.”
He said farmers also wanted the CSG to understand some of the practical challenges involved in improving environmental
performance. A CSG visit to a sheep and beef farm to see on-the-ground realities firsthand is planned for early next
Meanwhile, a workshop on Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora next month will look at the project’s progress and give an opportunity
for people to comment on the CSG’s draft criteria for choosing policy options.
Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/ Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai
The Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai project is working with stakeholders to develop
changes to the regional plan to help restore and protect the health of the Waikato and Waipa rivers, which are key to a
vibrant regional economy.
The project plays a part in restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the rivers for current and future
generations, as required by the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River/Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato. It will help achieve reduction, over time, of sediment, bacteria and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) entering
water bodies (including groundwater) in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments