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Draft Kaituna River And Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary Strategy Received

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
environment bay of plenty.jpg
environment bay of plenty.jpg

16 October 2008 - Environment Bay of Plenty has today received the draft Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary Strategy, which looks at the vision for the river and estuary during the next 10 years.

The draft strategy is scheduled to be released for public review in mid November 2008, subject to approval from Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Rotorua District Council later this month and in early November.

Members of the public will then be invited to make submissions on the strategy. Public workshops with the community will be held in Te Puke and in Maketu in January 2009 to discuss the draft consultation documents and provide an opportunity for the local community to ask questions prior to making submissions. A public hearing of submissions is tentatively set to be held in April 2009.

The draft Kaituna River and Ongatoro/Maketu Estuary Strategy was developed by the local community under the direction of the Kaituna Maketu Joint Council Committee with representatives from Environment Bay of Plenty, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Rotorua District Council. The local community involved in developing the strategy included a working party and several focus groups as well as representatives from different iwi, hapu, individuals, community groups and organisations.

The strategy includes key proposed actions for:  exploring options to increase the water flow from the Kaituna River into the Ongatoro/Maketu estuary;  the development of a sub-regional/regional park in the lower Kaituna area; and  the addition of 100 hectares of wetland in the lower Kaituna River catchment by 2018.

Environment Bay of Plenty Group Manager Rivers and Drainage Ken Tarboton said the Strategy provided a framework for local authorities, government agencies, tangata whenua, local communities, industry organisations and non-government organisations to commit to the actions needed to implement the strategy to achieve the vision and outcomes of the strategy by 2018.

"We need to ensure that as a wider community our policies and plans celebrate and honour river and estuary life as taonga," Mr Tarboton said.

"The aim of the strategy is to improve the sustainable management of the river and the estuary resources, and look at increasing the environmental, social and economical welfare of the estuary."

Timeline for the draft strategy is:  released for public review (following approval from local councils) in November 2008;  public workshops in Te Puke and Maketu in January 2009;  submissions close in February 2009; and  proposed hearing in April 2009.

Note: "Ongatoro" is the tangata whenua name for the Maketu Estuary. The name comes from "Ngatoroirangi" who was the esteemed tohunga/navigator of the Te Arawa waka.

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