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Published: 2013-06-27 00:00:00

Up to 120 people have turned out to a drop-in day at the Coromandel’s Cooks Beach community hall to discuss a draft catchment management plan for Cook Stream.

The plan has been developed by Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) to manage flood risk in the Cook Stream floodplain as well as related issues in the wider catchment, like water quality and erosion. It will also capture what the community values about the catchment and identify works that could be carried out to protect and enhance those values.

Regional council harbour and catchment management coordinator Emily O’Donnell said there was a great turnout of interested residents at the drop-in day last Saturday.

“People came along prepared to share their thoughts and ideas, which meant we had some really great discussions. It also allowed us to gather a huge amount of information and feedback.

“There was generally good support for including the floodplain in TCDC’s Proposed District Plan. It was also very clear from the people we spoke to that maintaining and preserving the natural environment is important to them.”

Feedback included people wanting to see:

  • changes to the way storm water is managed
  • more maintenance of the Cook Stream channel
  • upgrading of the Rees Rd culvert
  • an end to illegal infilling of the stream floodplain
  • protection of key natural areas and community values
  • a return of high quality water in the Cook Stream.

There was also good support for managing development in the Cook Stream floodplain to ensure future impacts are minimised.

“TCDC and the regional council will take all this feedback into account in further developing the catchment management plan for this area,” said Ms O’Donnell.

She encouraged those who were not able to attend Saturday’s event to call Bruce Baker at TCDC or herself at the regional council on 0800 800 401 to discuss their thoughts and concerns.

A newsletter and feedback form has also been sent to every ratepayer in the Cook Stream catchment. The feedback forms are due in by 3 July. The community will also have an opportunity later this year to formally submit on the inclusion of new rules to manage the floodplain in TCDC’s Proposed District Plan when it is notified in November.