The Otago Regional Council (ORC) will be visiting every corner of the region over the coming weeks to gather input for its Regional Policy Statement.
Under a new requirement introduced in the government’s Essential Freshwater package, ORC’s Regional Policy Statement (RPS) must include freshwater objectives developed with iwi and the wider community for each freshwater management unit and rohe.
The RPS will set the environmental management direction for Otago, and is scheduled for notification in June next year.
Gwyneth Elsum, ORC’s General Manager Strategy, Policy and Science said the aim of the Freshwater Visions consultation was to gather a wider variety of perspectives on water in Otago.
“We’re keen to get input from every corner of the region—the more perspectives we hear, the better.
“In addition to being used for the RPS, the freshwater visions will also shape the new Land and Water Regional Plan we have begun working on,” Ms Elsum said.
“We’ll use these visions to help set area-specific policies, limits and rules that work for each area in Otago, and which reflect community as well as central government expectations.”
ORC will be holding community meetings around Otago to gather input into freshwater visions for the region’s catchments, as well as an online survey that opened today for people who may not be able to attend the meetings in person.
Minister for the Environment David Parker had set ORC a deadline of November this year to notify its new RPS, but has extended that deadline to June 2021, due to the additional consultation requirement introduced in the Essential Freshwater package.
“That’s why we’re talking to people in all of our freshwater management units and rohe about their freshwater visions this year, ahead of schedule for our Land and Water Regional Plan,” Ms Elsum said.
Freshwater management units and rohe are geographic areas for managing freshwater and land use. The boundaries have been set by ORC and enable a tailored approach rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
See the schedule of meetings below to find your nearest meeting, or you can have your say online. Find out more at www.orc.govt.nz/OurWaterOurVision or call 0800 474 082 for a paper copy of the survey.
Owaka, 27 October, 5:30-7pm, Owaka Memorial Hall
Oamaru, 28 October, 12:30-2pm and 6-7:30pm, Oamaru Opera House
Palmerston, 29 October, 12:30-2pm, Palmerston Community House
Ranfurly, 2 November, 12:30-2pm and 6-7:30pm, Ranfurly Town Hall
Cromwell, 3 November, 12:30-2pm, Cromwell Presbyterian Centre
Clyde, 3 November, 5:30-7pm, Clyde Hall
Mosgiel, 10 November, 12:30-2pm, Mosgiel Coronation Hall
Dunedin, 10 November, 6-7:30pm, The Salvation Army Hall, NEV
Dunedin, 11 November, 6:30-8pm, Orokonui Ecosanctuary
Middlemarch, 12 November, 12:30-2pm and 6-7:30pm, Middlemarch Memorial Hall
Roxburgh, 17 November 12:30-2pm, Roxburgh Memorial Hall
Ettrick, 17 November, 5:30-7pm, Ettrick Hall
Tapanui, 18 November, 12:30-2pm and 5:30-7pm, West Otago Community Centre
Milton, 19 November, 12:30-2pm, Milton Coronation Hall
Balclutha, 19 November, 6-7:30pm, Cross Recreation Centre
Queenstown, 24 November, 6-7:30pm, St Peters Church Hall
Wanaka, 25 November, 12:30-2pm and 6-7:30pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
Arrowtown, 26 November, 12:30-2pm, Arrowtown Bowling Club