When will the Committee decide on an approach?

    Over the next six months, the Committee will work through the community’s feedback on this draft discharge approach and bring these ideas together with information on the potential social, cultural, environmental and economic implications of these options. Ultimately the decisions on this approach will be written into the Ruamāhanga Whaitua Implementation Programme (WIP), expected to be delivered in early 2018.

    What support can we expect in meeting any new limits set?

    Meeting contaminant discharge limits will be supported by roles played by both the community and the regional council. This includes communities establishing sub-catchment groups that would look at how best to deliver activities to reduce contaminant discharges in order that they can meet the limits for the sub-catchment – for example, to see where best to place planting for sediment management purposes. The Committee has also signalled there is a key role for increased education, advice and extension services from the regional council, alongside sector and industry organisations.

    How does the Committee aim to ensure a fair system for managing contaminants?

    The direction from the Committee is that all communities and all players in our communities should be involved in delivering good management practices for any activity that affects land and water. The Committee is particularly keen on exploring with the Ruamāhanga community how to ensure those people already doing great management practice aren’t dis-incentivised by any rules that restrict the way people can change rural land uses.

    Is the Committee considering grandparenting property-scale nitrogen discharges as a management approach?

    The Committee is strongly signaling that grandparenting of nitrogen discharges is not supported, and that if there is an allocation of nitrogen to farms in the future, it should not be through grandparenting existing levels of discharges. Grandparenting can incentivise poor land use management and high nitrogen leaching rates.       

    When limits are set, when will they come into effect?

    After the WIP is completed, the recommendations, including those on water quality limits, will be turned into a plan change to the Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP). As soon as this plan change is notified, all recommendations will have effect. You can expect this plan change later in 2018. 

    How can I submit feedback to the Committee about the Whaitua process?

    You can contact the Committee at ruamahangawhaitua@gw.govt.nz, or get in touch on their Facebook page – Celebrating Wairarapa Waterways.