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10 Consultation Overview

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As part of Project Watershed the Waikato catchment was divided into six Management Zones (later reduced to five by amalgamation of the two Waipa zones). A liaison subcommittee was established in each zone. In the Upper Waikato zone a second committee was established in the Whakamaru area to ensure adequate representation (see map 3).

In the Waipa catchment Council formed the Upper Waipa and the Middle Waipa liaison subcommittees.

The two Waipa subcommittees met independently throughout the informal consultation process until a combined meeting was held in December 2001. The consultation process has resulted in discussion in December 2001 and January 2002 between zone subcommittees and Environment Waikato over the equity implications of initiating two separate Waipa zone differentials, given the downstream benefits of works in the Upper Waipa zone.

It has been decided that combining the Upper and Middle Waipa zones into a single Waipa zone for zone rating and management purposes will better reflect both the local and wider community benefits expected from work proposals, and more fairly distribute benefits presently attributed to that area above Otorohanga to the balance of the Waipa catchment.

A summary of the major outcomes of liaison subcommittee deliberations is included in each of the management zone discussions below.

Community meetings were also held in each zone where significant issues existed or where extensive works were proposed. Across the catchment presentations were given and discussions held with agencies, interest groups and communities. Participants included district councils, Department of Conservation, Maori trust boards, major river users, Federated Farmers, Rotary and Lions clubs, farmers, hapu, care groups and local residents.

The information collected has been used in three ways:

  1. Presented to liaison subcommittees to assist them in making their recommendations to Council.
  2. By technical staff at Environment Waikato in adjusting works and costing proposals for the project.
  3. Feedback reports to Council.

Environment Waikato acknowledges the valuable feedback that has been received through these processes. It has had a substantial bearing on the development of Draft Funding Policy for Project Watershed.

A summary of the formal consultation process and results of Council’s deliberations is contained in Appendix 6 of this document.