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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 4.3 River and Lake Bed Disturbances » 4.3.2 Objective

4.3.2 Objective

Physical alteration to the beds or banks of waterways, the deliberate introduction of vegetation to the beds or banks of rivers or lakes, the destruction or removal of vegetation from the beds and banks of rivers and lakes, and the access of livestock to the banks and beds of rivers and lakes managed so that:

  1. loss of adjacent land is avoided
  2. adverse effects on aquatic habitat, downstream water uses and on the passage of trout and indigenous fish of elevated suspended solids and temperature levels in surface water bodies are not inconsistent with objectives in Chapter 3.1
  3. accelerated infilling of estuaries, harbours and wetlands2 that are areas of significant indigenous vegetation and/or significant habitats of indigenous fauna is avoided, excluding structures designed to trap sediment
  4. bank stability and channel stability is maintained
  5. there is in no increase in the adverse effects of flooding
  6. significant adverse effects on the relationship tangata whenua as kaitiaki have with their identified taonga such as waahi tapu, native flora and fauna and access to their customary fisheries are avoided
  7. cumulative adverse effects on the relationship tangata whenua as kaitiaki have with their identified taonga such as waahi tapu, native flora and fauna and access to their customary fisheries are remedied or mitigated
  8. significant adverse effects on the natural character of the margins of wetlands, lakes and rivers are avoided
  9. there is no introduction of any plant pest identified in the Waikato Regional Pest Management Strategy
  10. competition by introduced vegetation to existent desirable plant species is avoided
  11. obstruction of river channels by introduced vegetation is avoided
  12. faecal contamination does not have adverse effects that are inconsistent with objectives in Chapter 3.1
  13. damage to lawfully established structures and drainage districts and river control scheme areas is avoided
  14. existing legal public access to and along river and lake beds and their margins is maintained, where appropriate.

 

Principal Reasons for Adopting the Objective
Objective 4.3.2 addresses all four issues described in Section 4.3.1. Parts a) to g) and l) relate generally to all the issues while parts h), i), j) and k) address specific issues as identified in the paragraphs below.

Part a) of Objective 4.3.2 ensures that any loss of land adjacent to the bed of a river or lake by erosion or activities on the bed is avoided. Loss of adjacent land can occur as a result of activities in the bed of a river or lake causing erosion of its banks. Once land has been lost it is often not possible to reinstate its to it original state.

Part b) of Objective 4.3.2 provides a strong link between this chapter and the relevant Water Management Objective in Chapter 3.1 of this Plan. The way water is managed has an influence on how river and lake beds will be managed. This part of the objective therefore provides for integrated management of water and river and lake beds.

Part c) of Objective 4.3.2 recognises that infilling occurs naturally and will continue to do so. Where practical, the entry of sediment from activities into water bodies should be avoided so that the rate of accelerated infilling is not significantly greater than that which would naturally occur.

Part d) of Objective 4.3.2 provides that bank stability and channel stability need to be maintained while acknowledging that there is natural erosion of beds and banks. Maintaining stable banks and channels is desirable to prevent loss of adjacent land to prevent adverse effects downstream.

Part e) of Objective 4.3.2 recognises that there are adverse effects from flooding, such as damage to property, that are not acceptable and should not be increased. Waikato Regional Council wishes to ensure that the risk of flooding is not increased. Flooding damages property and creates costs in terms of flood mitigation for other users.

Disturbances in, on or under the beds of rivers and lakes may also have impacts on the relationship tangata whenua as kaitiaki have with their identified taonga such as waahi tapu, native flora and fauna and access to customary fisheries. Part f) of Objective 4.3.2 recognises that statutory duty to manage physical effects on the relationship tangata whenua as kaitiaki have with their waahi tapu, native flora and fauna and access to customary fisheries.

Part g) of Objective 4.3.2 recognises that there are effects which may be smaller scale but which together add up to adversely affecting identified taonga, such as waahi tapu, native flora and fauna and access to customary fisheries. These adverse effects are more easily remedied or mitigated as they occur, through resource consent conditions or non-regulatory methods such as education or incentives.

Module 2 Matters of Significance to Maori identifies the process in which Maori and Waikato Regional Council can work together to identify the areas of interest to Maori, in regard to the specific resource, that will facilitate a greater awareness of these matters in the management of this resource.

Part h) recognises that river and lake bed disturbances may have significant impacts upon the natural character of these areas. This part of the objective therefore seeks to avoid significant adverse effects on the natural character of river and lake beds.

Parts i), j) and k) of Objective 4.3.2 relate specifically to Issue 2 in Section 4.3.1. Part i) seeks that there is no introduction of any plant pest identified in the RPMS. Plant pests may smother habitats and block water bodies in areas where they are introduced. Part j) ensures that there is no competition from introduced plant species with desirable plants already existing in the Region. Desirable species assist in maintaining bank and bed stability and providehabitat for aquatic fauna. Competition from introduced species may result in a reduction in these benefits. Part k) ensures that river channels are not obstructed by introduced vegetation which may result in flooding on adjacent land and in bed and bank erosion.

Part l) of Objective 4.3.2 relates to Issue 4 of Section 4.3.1 and ensures that faecal contamination by livestock in water bodies does not have adverse effects that are inconsistent with the Water Management Objectives in Chapter 3.1.

Part m) of Objective 4.3.2 pertains to Issue 1a) vii) in Section 4.3.1 and ensures that damage to lawfully established structures and drainage districts and river control scheme areas is avoided. Many structures in these areas provide services to the community that if comprised could affect peoples safety and incomes. Costs of damages are often borne by the wider community.

Part n) of Objective 4.3.2 recognises that the maintencance of existing legal public access to, along and across the beds of margins of lakes, rivers and wetlands is of importance in managing the Region’s water resource. Maintaining existing legal public access to active and passive recreational areas and places of cultural and historical interest is important. It is intended to promote public access to and along water bodies, however, it is recognised that there are instances when restriction of public access is necessary such as where safety, defence or security purposes require limits or where sensitive areas require protection.

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