The Queenstown Lakes District Council is opposed to the Otago
Regional Council's plan change 6A designed to maintain and
improve the quality of water in the province's waterways.
Senior policy analyst Jonathan Richards told the regional
council's panel in Wanaka yesterday the plan change should be
He listed the Queenstown council's concerns and said the plan
change would fail to meet the objectives of the National
Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011.
He submitted the plan change was too reactive.
"[The plan change] potentially promotes an approach which
reacts to a deterioration of the water quality, rather than
attempting to address matters before they arise through
During its two days in Wanaka, the panel has explained that
the regional council's approach differs from those in
Canterbury and Southland by allowing landowners to do what
they like on their land, provided water discharged from the
land meets certain contamination limits.
Mr Richards submitted this "permissive regime" opened up
opportunities for inconsistencies, and for liability matters
to be disputed.
He also believed the plan change did not take into account
the differing nature of streams, rivers and lakes in the
Queenstown Lakes region.
QLDC three waters manager Gerry Essenberg was concerned at
the impact plan change 6A, which deals with water quality in
rural areas, might have on discharges from urban waste water
plants and storm water systems.
He believed the plan changes for rural and urban areas should
be seen together.
Hugh Barnard from the Preserve Our Water Society raised the
concerns of Hawea Flats residents concerned about the
possible impact on their bore water of more intensive farming
He questioned the council's ability to monitor nitrate and
nitrite levels in ground water and believed it should require
a consent process for such things as dairying operations.
Another member of the society, Jeremy Bisson, said allowing
landowners a "self-regulatory" approach would provide
inadequate protection for Otago's fresh water bodies.
He considered the plan's "effects-based" system was the
"Once babies are born, you know something is wrong." Ida
Valley farmer John Paterson and Roxburgh East farmer Dick
Hill were the only submitters in Alexandra yesterday.
Mr Paterson was concerned some of the places the Department
of Conservation expected waterways to be fenced were
"absolutely ridiculous" - sheer rock walls, for example.
"We've been farming this country for 150 years and the fish
[Doc want to protect] are still there and thriving," he said.
Submissions continue today in Alexandra.
Where: Wanaka and Alexandra.
Panel: Crs Duncan Butcher [chairman], David Shepherd
and independent member Clive Geddes.
Proposal: Changes to Otago's water regulations to
prevent run-off in rural areas polluting the region's
Submitters: Jonathan Richards and Gerry Essenberg,
Queenstown Lakes District Council; Hugh Barnard, Kim
Fogelberg and Jeremy Bisson, Preserve Our Water Society; Sue
Coutts, Hawea Flat; Tim Burdon, Jonathan Wallis, Lakes
Landcare Group; Rachel Brown, Hawea Community Association;
farmer John Paterson of Ida Valley Station and farmer Dick
Hill, of Roxburgh East.
Quote of day: John Barlow: "I think it's a brilliant
idea ... You can do anything you like with your property as
long as you respect your neighbour's property. At the moment,
a farmer is focused on his farm. With this he has to be
focused on his neighbour ... This is a paradigm shift."