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What is a harbour and catchment management plan?

Image - Your harbour, your catchment


Harbour and catchment management plans are a way for people to share what they want their natural environment to be like in the next 10 to 50 years.

Environmental changes are raising people’s awareness of the need for careful management of our natural resources into the future, along with the need to meet economic, cultural and social outcomes.

Enhancing our coastal, marine and freshwater environs is a priority for Waikato Regional Council – and it should be yours, too.

Image - planting in your catchmentWhy do harbour and catchment management planning?

These plans:

  • connect people with their natural environment and community
  • assess current environmental pressures and issues in the harbour and catchment
  • focus on water, soils and biodiversity
  • guide Waikato Regional Council’s work, inform statutory processes (including the Waikato Regional Plan and Waikato Regional Coastal Plan)
  • coordinate works between the regional council, agencies, territorial authorities, iwi, and the community to achieve positive change
  • show people what they can do to make a difference.

The objectives of the plans are to:

  • reduce sedimentation in rivers, harbours and estuaries
  • improve water quality
  • reduce pests such as mustelids possums and goats
  • improve diversity of plants and animals
  • reduce flood risk for people, property and infrastructure
  • sustain the mauri of the catchment.

We need you!

Harbour and catchment management plans are non-statutory.

In other words, nobody’s legally required to carry out any of the recommended actions. To be successful, they rely on people and organisations to help develop them and take action.

We can’t write or deliver these plans without your input. Everyone with an interest in a catchment – iwi, local landowners and residents, people who volunteer and work there, and those who visit it – will have an opportunity to share with us what’s important to them and the concerns they have about its health and wellbeing.

Together, we will take a close look at how things are done on the land, and look for practical ways to improve freshwater quality, reduce sedimentation, stabilise river and catchment systems and enhance biodiversity.

We will then make a plan that reflects our collective vision, key concerns and aspirations for the future – and it will then be up to all of us to deliver the actions, to ensure we have a healthy catchment and healthy harbour.

Where to next?

The harbour and catchment management plan process kicked off in the Coromandel Peninsula in 2009. We already have plans for Wharekawa, Whangamatā, Whangapoua and Tairua.

Our focus is now turning to:

  • Whitianga/Mercury Bay
  • Coromandel/Manaia
  • the region’s west coast.

Keep up to date

Look out for ways to get involved with the development of your harbour and catchment management plan. We will be holding drop-in days, workshops and surveys.

For the latest news and information, or to find out more about your harbour and catchment management plan, check out these webpages or our Facebook page.

Own it!

A harbour and catchment management plan relies on the uptake and goodwill of landowners and land managers within the catchment, as well as support by key agencies.

Already, they’re being recognised by Fonterra and the Hauraki Gulf marine spatial plan, Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari , as a way to affect change. Our combined commitment will ensure their success.