The Takaka Freshwater and Land Advisory Group (FLAG) has handed over its recommendations for managing freshwater in the Takaka and surrounding catchments to the Council at Onetahua marae in June.
The FLAG recommendations report, which includes 34 recommendations covering water allocation, water quality management and waterbody restoration is available on Council’s website (search ‘Takaka FLAG’). The report recommends a number of new controls for the Tasman Resource Management Plan and other actions the Council can take to improve water management in the catchments from Wainui Bay to Tukurua and the Takaka River and its tributaries.
Alongside the FLAG report, the Council also received a report from Manawhenua ki Mohua who represent three Mohua iwi: Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rarua. Their report reviewed and supported the FLAG work, and outlined iwi freshwater management principles, values, and aspirations for the future.
A key message from the FLAG to the Council at the handover was that the recommendations formed a package and the Council should not ‘cherry-pick’ recommendations without understanding the implications to all of the report’s aspirations. “We have worked hard to reach a consensus on these issues” says FLAG spokesperson Mik Symmons. “We would like to see the Council adopt our recommendations and progress their implementation to improve freshwater management in our catchments”.
The FLAG report also recommends the Council implement protections for Te Waikoropupū springs as soon as possible to complement the protections anticipated from the Water Conservation Order process.
The Council confirmed they will wait until they receive the report of the Special Tribunal for the Water Conservation Order and have taken time to consider its implications before publicly notifying a Takaka freshwater plan change.
The Council will now consider the FLAG recommendations and their implications for the Takaka community, and decide how best to progress the remaining work. “We will seek to fully understand the implications to the whole community of the package. We are very grateful to all of the FLAG members for their effort, passion and persistence during this process. They have given a significant amount of time in preparing this report,” says Mayor Richard Kempthorne.