Tasman Mayor Welcomes Water Conservation Order Opportunity

Tuesday 6 June 2017

The Tasman District Council has welcomed Minister Nick Smith’s decision to refer a Water Conservation Order application for Te Waikoropupu Springs to a special tribunal to consider.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne says a Water Conservation Order for the Springs could complement the work being done by the Takaka Freshwater and Land Advisory Group (FLAG) to further protect and manage freshwater throughout the Takaka catchment.

“The work FLAG is doing would provide protection for the Springs through rule changes in the Tasman Resource Management Plan. A Water Conservation Order for the Springs would complement these protections and provide extra endorsement of the treasured status of Te Waikoropupu Springs,” Mayor Kempthorne says.

He says regional plans and Water Conservation Orders have different strengths in managing freshwater. Regional plans can be used to manage existing water take consents and to manage land uses to protect or improve water quality. Regional plans are easier to change if monitoring shows management isn’t achieving the desired aims.

Water Conservation Orders (WCOs) can be valuable in providing enduring protection for nationally outstanding natural values of water.

“The changes we make to our planning rules will aim to improve water quality throughout the catchment while the WCO is a tool for protecting the Springs as they are right now, with little ability to effect change – positive or negative. That’s why we believe a combination of the two would be the best result for this special piece of our District,” Mayor Kempthorne says.

Ngati Tama has used the scientific information and reports commissioned by the Council to support the FLAG’s work as the basis for its WCO application.

“I think that shows the strength of the work that has been done as part of the FLAG process, and which will inform the management of freshwater in the Takaka catchments for years to come,” Mayor Kempthorne says.