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Published: 2007-10-30 00:00:00

Whether you are a permanent resident or among the 70 per cent of holiday home owners who visit Whangamata only occasionally, Environment Waikato wants your feedback on proposals to improve the health of the harbour.

Environment Waikato is seeking ratepayers’ views on the Draft Whangamata Harbour Plan and supporting documents – the draft catchment management plan and mangrove management options report.

River and catchment services group manager Scott Fowlds says that with absentee property owners forming the majority of the rating base in Whangamata, he’s keen to hear their views on these documents, which will determine the approach Environment Waikato will take to the future management of the harbour and surrounding land.

“Their rates will be affected by the decisions we make so it’s important absentee ratepayers take this opportunity to have their say, even if they haven’t been involved in this process to date.”

Feedback forms should be returned to Environment Waikato by November 7. Ratepayers who feel that don’t know enough about the issues to complete the feedback form are encouraged to contact Environment Waikato staff.

“We are more than happy to answer people’s questions. Staff can be contacted via our freephone – 0800 800 401,” Mr Fowlds said.

A summary outlining the issues identified in the harbour plan that are a risk to Whangamata’s harbour, the work prioritised in the catchment plan to address those risks and the six mangrove management options was posted to all ratepayers earlier this month. Ratepayers who did not receive the mailer can request a copy by calling Environment Waikato’s freephone.

The draft harbour and catchment plans, mangrove management options report and feedback form can be downloaded from www.ew.govt.nz/projects/whangamata/index.htm. Printed copies can be requested by calling 0800 800 401.