Plan change close to final tick

The Otago Regional Council's water quality plan change is past its last major hurdle.

Environment Court judge Jon Jackson has signed off plan change 6A (water quality), resolving the 21 appeals made by farmers, councils, industry representatives and environmental groups.

The groups and the regional council entered court-ordered mediation last year in what was the largest of its type to be held in Dunedin.

Through that process, the concerns raised by those who appealed had been resolved.

Federated Farmers Otago president Stephen Korteweg said Federated Farmers, through mediation, had achieved some positive changes.

''While 6A is not necessarily farmer-friendly, it is a workable plan which will achieve results,'' he said.

Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said the council was pleased the process did not have to go to formal Environment Court hearings.

The plan change would now go before the council's March 26 meeting for formal approval and the council's seal before it becomes an official part of the council's water plan.

rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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