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Plan Change Allows Weed Control on Coast

A change proposed to Environment Waikato’s Regional Coastal Plan will allow control of invasive plants and unwanted organisms on the Region’s coastline.

The Regional Council has proposed a variation to the Plan which allows for the authorised use of hazardous substances in the coastal marine area – but this doesn’t mean allowing hazardous wastes or substances to be dumped in the sea, Policy Programme Manager Blair Dickie says.

The aim is to protect the natural character of the coast by allowing people to apply for a consent to use a substance, such as a weed control, or antibiotic for healthy marine farming on the coast. This would mean going through a public process to obtain permission.

The existing Plan prevents people from even applying to use weed controls by preventing the use of any substances, even those with beneficial effects, in the coastal marine area.

“The change we’re proposing is not allowing dumping of wastes, as has been suggested, but will allow some chemicals to be used for a positive environmental effect, such as spraying spartina and other invasive weeds. It also brings us into line with neighbouring councils.

“The provision would be very rarely used, and means that people have to go through a full public process which is judged on each location and each substance individually. It gives us the ability to protect the natural character of the coastal environment in a transparent and open way.”

Submissions are open on the variation until Thursday, November 30.

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