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NZ Government Freshwater Management

On 9 May, as part of pre-Budget announcements, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith outlined three initiatives related to fresh water management.  One related to irrigation is noted above.  A National Policy Statement [NPS] “Freshwater Management 2011” was gazetted 12 May to take effect 1 July 2011.  It has a 5-year history. A Proposed NPS was prepared by the Minister for Environment following a decision to do so in 2006. This was subsequently referred to a Board of Enquiry, which notified a modified Proposed NPS in September 2008.  The Board reported its recommendations to the Minister in January 2010. Rather than adopting the recommendations in whole or in part, the Minister in March 2010 referred this modified Proposed NPS to the Land and Water Forum. The Forum included comment in its report to the Minister in September 2010. The NPS has national objectives and consequent policies related to water quality and quantity, integrated management and tangata whenua roles and interests.  These have to be observed by regional councils in their Regional Policy Statements, which in turn influence the content of regional plans for water management.  The third initiative is for a ‘pollution clean-up’ fund aimed to assist communities with historic water pollution problems.  This arose from a recommendation of the Land and Water Forum in their September 2010 report.  A contestable fund of M$7.5 in each of 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 will invite applications from June 2011. Sources: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-issues-nps-fresh-water-management ; http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/budget-2011-new-fresh-water-clean-fund