Water taskforce reporting back to the community
Posted at 6:00am Thursday 08 Aug, 2019 | By Julie Perry Upper Clutha Lakes Trust
In April 2018, Shaping our Future held public forums in Wanaka and Queenstown on the topic of freshwater in the Queenstown Lakes District. Two community taskforces were formed following the forums, with both taskforces meeting regularly over the past 15 months. Considerable time has been committed by those on the taskforces to distil a complex range of issues into recommendations designed to achieve the long-term outcomes desired by our communities.
Based on information gathered at the forum, the Upper Clutha taskforce has developed a vision for the future of freshwater and is now ready to present its findings to the community. A second Water Forum will be held in Wanaka in early September. This second forum is an opportunity for the community to discuss the issues identified by the taskforce, provide feedback on the recommendations and agree priorities and next steps.
It is likely that the second Wanaka forum will be held shortly after the Government releases its proposals for a revised regulatory framework for freshwater. The forum will provide an opportunity to understand the effect of these proposals, both nationally and locally.
Following the forum, the taskforce's report will be updated to incorporate additional feedback from the community. Presentations will then be arranged with the key agencies responsible for freshwater management in our region, including QLDC Councillors, ORC Councillors and their respective policy and planning teams.
The community's recommendations will also be used to inform the Integrated Catchment Management Plan for the Upper Clutha, currently being developed as part of the Wanaka Water Project. Ultimately, the valuable work undertaken by the taskforce and the wider Wanaka community will be embedded into ORC and QLDC policy and plans, ensuring that freshwater is effectively managed for future generations.
Unsurprisingly, there was considerable alignment between the Upper Clutha and Queenstown taskforces on the importance of freshwater for overall community wellbeing. Water's key role is evident in other consultation occurring at present, such as QLDC's Daft Climate Action Plan, the government's Biodiversity Strategy Discussion Document and the proposed overhaul of the Resource Management Act.
We are all in this together, so keep an eye out for Shaping our Future's announcement and head along to the second water forum early next month.