Responses to submissions for rules to protect lake released

Responses to submissions for rules to protect lake released

20 January 2017

Public submissions received on proposed rules to manage nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua from pastoral land use have been collated and evaluated by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Council received 92 submissions from various individuals and groups such as farmers, Māori land trusts and industry and an additional 20 further submissions based on matters raised by initial submissions

Council staff have now considered and responded to each point raised by these submissions and are included within the section 42A report available on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website, along with supporting evidence from Council’s expert witnesses.    

Regional Council’s Acting Chief Executive Fiona McTavish says the report highlights areas of Proposed Plan Change 10 where people are in agreement and what topics or components of the plan change that they do not agree on. 

“The report is a requirement of the Resource Management Act 1991 which responds to each submission and includes recommended changes to the proposed rules.” Ms McTavish says.

The independent hearing panel will consider the recommendations in the report in addition to any evidence presented by submitters when making their final decision.

“The rules are just one part of the solution to ensure long-term sustainability of the lake’s water quality and we will continue to work with our partners Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Rotorua Lakes Council and Ministry for the Environment to meet the community set water quality limit.

The report can be viewed at Public hearings will be held at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua from March 13 to April 4.

Additional information:

The proposed rules are just one part of the long-term solution for Lake Rotorua water quality developed under the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, which is a collaborative partnership between the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust with funding from the Ministry for the Environment.

To meet water quality standards set by the community, nitrogen entering the lake must reduce by 320 tonnes by 2032. Less than half of that, 140 tonnes, will come from proposed rules where landowners will need to make changes to the way they use their land.

One hundred tonnes will come from voluntary land use changes purchased by the Lake Rotorua Incentives Board, 30 tonnes will come from voluntary gorse conversion to trees, while 50 tonnes will come from engineering initiatives.

The proposed nutrient rules process has been underway for three years, with over two years of collaboration and informal consultation and formal submissions welcomed in February this year.

Submissions to Proposed Plan Change 10 to the Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land Plan closed earlier this year, with Council receiving 91 submissions from a range of organisations and individuals.