Help shape the rules on Taranaki's freshwater

Changes are coming to how farmers, industry, businesses and communities use freshwater and Taranaki Regional Council wants the public’s help to shape the new rules.

The Council has organised 16 drop-in sessions from 17 June to 1 July where staff will be on hand to answer questions about proposed freshwater targets aimed at improving water quality in Taranaki’s rivers and streams in the short, medium and long term.

Chair Charlotte Littlewood says the drop-in events are being held across the region and are a great opportunity for those who will be affected by proposed changes to give feedback ahead of targets and limits being set out in the new Taranaki Land and Freshwater Plan.

“This community conversation is really where the rubber hits the road in terms of setting the rules around how we balance competing pressures on our waterways so we want to hear from as many people as possible,” Mrs Littlewood says.

“We’ve been talking with the community for a couple of years now as we work towards notifying Taranaki’s Land and Freshwater Plan in 2025. We’ve heard the region’s views on freshwater management units, the vision for freshwater and the environmental outcomes people would like to see.

“Now we’re asking about actual targets. What levels of E. coli, sediment and nutrients in our waterways are acceptable? What limits should be put on how much water can be taken out of a waterway? These are vital questions in establishing the rules.”

The targets will impact all those who use water or whose business activity impacts freshwater bodies. This includes farmers who have a dairy effluent consent or a consent to take water, as well as business owners with a consent to use water. Rule changes around sediment will also affect those carrying out earthworks.

“We’re also expecting to hear from people across the region who cherish our hundreds of waterways. You might be worried that freshwater ecosystems are under too much pressure or your local stream isn’t the way you remember it.

“This is your chance to help shape the rules so please get involved and have your say.”

As well as talking to Council staff at drop-in sessions, people can have a say online by going here(external link) from 10 June to 2 August. The webpages feature a survey on the key issues, consultation documents and technical information. There will also be an online session on 3 July where the public can ask questions via Zoom.

There are two $200 Prezzy Card up for grabs for those who take part in the online consultation.

The drop-in sessions

17 June:
Ōkato - Hempton Hall, 72 Carthew Street, 10am-1pm
Ōpunake – Sinclair Electrical and Refrigeration Events Centre,
Tasman Street, 3pm-6.30pm

18 June:
Hāwera - TSB Hub East lounge, Camberwell Road, 10am-1pm
Kaponga - War Memorial Hall, 57 Victoria Street, 3pm-6.30pm

20 June:
Urenui - Community Centre, 13 Takiroa Street, 11am-2.30pm
Uruti - Community Hall, 1672 Mokau Road, 4pm-6.30pm

21 June:
Pātea - Hunter Shaw Building, 29 Victoria Street, 10am-1pm
Waitotora - Hotel & Store,
1 Kaipo Street, 3pm-6.30pm

24 June:
Waitara - North Taranaki Sport and Recreation
Centre, 17 Princess Street, 10am-1pm
Bell Block - Fred Tucker Community Centre, 130 Parklands Avenue, 3pm-6pm

25 June:
Inglewood - TET Stadium, 1 Elliot Street,  10am-1pm
Tarata - Commuity Hall, 1831 Tarata Road, 3pm-6.30pm

27 June:
Stratford - Centennial Rooms, Fenton Street, 10am-1pm
Te Wera - Valley Lodge,
3560 Ohura Road, 3pm-6.30pm

1 July:
New Plymouth - Merrilands Hall, 259 Mangorei Road, New Plymouth, 10am-1pm
Bellringer Pavilion, Pukekura Park, 5pm-8pm