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Published: 2011-10-10 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council’s internationally significant Variation 5 policy to help protect Lake Taupō has won a special Resource Management Law Association documentation award.

The award was accepted on Saturday night at an association dinner in Karapiro by catchment services committee chairman Stuart Kneebone.

Documentation awards – given occasionally by the association – are for publications which make a significant contribution to the development of the law, theory or practice of resource management.

Variation 5 was seen as well-written and structured, and was forward-thinking and innovative.

The Variation – in the process of being implemented – is designed to reduce the impacts of nitrogen leaching from surrounding land into Lake Taupō, thereby protecting water quality in the lake.

The council’s policy group manager Vaughan Payne said: “This award is a tribute to all of those involved in the development of Variation 5, including Tuwharetoa, the Crown, Taupo District Council and the farming community.

“Recent deals with larger landowners in the Taupō catchment completed by the Lake Taupō Protection Trust mean that more than 100 tonnes of nitrogen per year will now be prevented from entering the lake.”

Mr Payne said there had also been good progress with Variation 5 rule implementation. “Landowners have worked well with the council over the past two years to implement rule changes introduced as part of the Variation and we are about to consult further with landowners on making further progress.”