Fo­rums to look at pro­posed rules

Waipa Post - - News -

The Healthy Rivers Wai Ora hear­ings panel will be hold­ing a se­ries of in­for­ma­tion fo­rums in Novem­ber on the eco­nomic and sci­ence mod­el­ling used in de­vel­op­ing the pro­posed new rules.

The fo­rums will be run by in­de­pen­dent ex­pert fa­cil­i­ta­tors ahead of hear­ings due to kick off around late Fe­bru­ary next year.

All sub­mit­ters to Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora: Pro­posed Waikato Re­gional Plan Change 1 and the sub­se­quent Vari­a­tion 1 are due to re­ceive a pre­lim­i­nary no­tice of these fo­rums.

“This will en­sure all sub­mit­ters are aware of this process and its likely tim­ing, as well as en­able them to co­or­di­nate any ex­pert wit­nesses they in­tend us­ing and to con­sider what is­sues need to be ad­dressed,” said in­de­pen­dent hear­ings panel chair­man Greg Hill.

“This will be an in­for­mal op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to dis­cuss, un­der­stand and per­haps re­solve dif­fer­ences they might have around the eco­nomic and sci­ence mod­el­ling.”

The five mem­ber hear­ings panel com­prises of Greg Hill, Greg Ryder, Basil Mor­ri­son, Trevor Robin­son and Sheena Tepa­nia.

The panel is re­spon­si­ble for hear­ing and de­lib­er­at­ing on sub­mis­sions to the pro­posed plan change for the Waikato and Waipa¯ rivers, and then mak­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion to the coun­cil.

It is ex­pected hear­ings will for­mally be­gin in late Fe­bru­ary 2019 and could take four to six months to com­plete.

More than 1000 sub­mis­sions were re­ceived on the pro­posed plan change and vari­a­tion.

Fur­ther sub­mis­sions, a writ­ten state­ment that al­lows the pub­lic to sup­port or op­pose other peo­ple’s sub­mis­sions, closed on Mon­day, Septem­ber 17.

Sixty-nine fur­ther sub­mis­sions were re­ceived by the dead­line.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil’s sci­ence and strat­egy di­rec­tor, Tracey May, said the fur­ther sub­mis­sions would be sum­marised by staff and be con­sid­ered, along with the orig­i­nal sub­mis­sions, by the hear­ings panel.

The plan change is the first step in an 80-year jour­ney to achieve rivers that are swimmable and safe for food gath­er­ing along their en­tire length, and achieve the re­quire­ments of Te Ture Waimana o Te Awa Waikato (The Vi­sion and Strat­egy for the Waikato River).

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