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Published: 2010-12-22 00:00:00

There has been a strong community response to a call for feedback on Environment Waikato’s draft Tairua harbour and catchment management plan summary.

The development of the draft plan follows long-standing concerns about sedimentation, mangrove expansion and decline in water quality in the Tairua harbour.

About 150 responses have already been received from residents in the Tairua, Hikuai and Pauanui area, along with dozens of phone calls. Due to this level of response the deadline for feedback has been extended to 20 January in order to capture as much information as possible.

“The high level of interest we’re receiving is typical of the Tairua, Hikuai and Pauanui communities and the comments we receive will help us ensure our plan takes into account the wishes of local people,” said project manager Emily O’Donnell.

“People are keen to see action, not just talk. The community can be assured the final plan will be the foundation for real action to occur at Tairua. As we shape that final plan, we will also develop an implementation programme for getting on with work and monitoring progress. This plan is not destined to be one that sits on a shelf gathering dust.”

Feedback received so far includes a strong desire for active control of mangroves and saltwater paspalum, increased dredging of the harbour to allow better access and to reduce the rate of infill, preservation of water quality, and retirement and restoration of harbour and stream margins.

“I encourage local people to continue giving feedback so that we get a full as possible picture of what locals want. The next phase will be turning the plan to action. That’s where it gets exciting and where the community’s ongoing involvement is crucial.”

For more information visit Environment Waikato’s web site www.ew.govt.nz/tairuaplan or call 0800 800 401 and ask for the Whitianga Office.