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Published: 2012-07-11 00:00:00

The policy and strategy committee has heard that Waikato Regional Council is working well to achieve its long term goals.

In March last year the council adopted its strategic direction and identified three flagship goals of sustaining land and water values, facilitating regional development and meeting the requirements of co-governance with iwi.

At its meeting yesterday the committee heard that achieving these goals remains critical for the council and good progress is being made on implementing them.

Managing land and water is one of the biggest challenges facing the council, and significant work has been undertaken over the past year in this area.

The work has included:

  • establishing a land and water subcommittee so there is governance oversight of this part of the business
  • implementing new water allocation policies
  • working with iwi partners to scope out a regional plan change to address non-point discharges in the Waikato River catchment.

The council’s role in regional development is focussed on growing the regional and national economy by working collaboratively with other councils, iwi and industry. As part of this work the council has:

  • developed a Waikato economic profile
  • begun work with Auckland Council on a marine strategy and plan for the Hauraki Gulf
  • begun investigating how to make the movement of freight in the Upper North Island more efficient to reduce the cost of doing business.

Implementing the co-governance goal has involved delivering on the commitments in the Treaty of Waitangi settlements in the Waikato River catchment. The council has also committed to establishing two Maori seats at the next local body election.