Gisborne District Council is looking for people with strong connections to the Waimatā and Pakarae River catchments to join an advisory group to help improve water quality there.
The advisory group will help develop a catchment plan. This plan will guide freshwater management by forming a values-based vision, with actions to achieve this vision, for all the waterways in the catchments. It will set objectives and regulations to help us manage water quality and quantity.
Jo Noble, Director Sustainable Futures, says the plan must stop further degradation of our freshwater. “The government has made it clear that we need to start making immediate improvements and that water quality improves within five years.”
“These catchment plans must set a pathway to reverse past damage to bring our waterways and ecosystems to a healthy state within a generation.
“To do this the plan is developed using the concept of Te Mana o te Wai which means the health and wellbeing of water must come first.”
“From Waihau Bay down the coast into Gisborne city, there are eight smaller freshwater catchments that fall under this plan. The waterways flow to the east coast and include the Waimatā, Pakarae, Waiomoko and Pouawa rivers and the Turihaua, Hamanatua, Wainui and Kopuawhakapata streams.”
“Having started early conversations with mana whenua, farming communities and various catchment groups in the area, Council wants to hear from urban and rural communities about their concerns and aspirations for their awa.”
“We invite anyone who wants to be part of the solution to apply for the advisory group and work with Council and tangata whenua to develop the plan.”
“We’re running a community hui to discuss the catchment plan at the Wainui Surf Club at 5pm on Wednesday 25 October.
Advisory group members will need to commit to attending a series of monthly meetings. They will need to dedicate time to understand the water quality and quantity issues in the catchment and be willing to contribute to the plan. People must be able to show a strong connection to the waterways within the catchments. A range of community perspectives is key.