Water rules details out this week

Peter Bodeker.
Peter Bodeker.
How the Otago Regional Council will implement and enforce its new 6A water quality rules will be made clear at the water rules launch on Friday.

The 6A water plan changes came into force on May 1, ending a process which took about five years and included one of the biggest Environment Court mediation processes held in Otago, to secure a water quality in Otago safe for swimming.

In an effort to ensure no conflicting messages were given on the impact of the changes, the council had held off giving details on how it would implement them.

However, all will be revealed at Friday's launch, followed by events around the region during the next few weeks.

Council chief executive Peter Bodeker said the launch would give the council a chance to advise landowners of their responsibilities, the timetable for the changes and how the council would implement them.

The water plan changes on prohibited activities and sediments rules were already in force but requirements about nutrient levels in run-off would not come in until 2020.

An effects-based approach meant it was up to landowners to ensure they met the new regulations.

''The key message is that it is the landowners' responsibility to get it right.

''They've got to know what their water quality is like before 2020.''

The council would only step in when enforcement became necessary, he said. How that enforcement and compliance would be done was to be outlined at the meetings.

The launch would be attended by about 100 people, including many who took part in the submission and mediation processes as well as landowners.

Mr Bodeker believes the 6A meetings will be well attended.

''This impacts people directly, they have more skin in the game.''


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