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  Council » Policies and Plans » Hazard and catchment management » Level of Service and Funding Policy » 13 Middle Waikato Management Zone » 13.3 Service Level Options and Justification » 13.3.1 Soil Conservation

13.3.1 Soil Conservation

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The existing scheme is documented in the Asset Management Plan. The level of service and associated justification has been agreed with the community and affected landowners.

There are some areas where additional protection is considered appropriate. The requirement for new works has been identified by means of the estimation process for soil conservation discussed in section 8. The soil conservation proposals include provision to address soil erosion issues in the hill country/upper catchment areas as well as the riparian or stream/river channel areas.

It was originally proposed that 649 km of stream banks in the Middle Waikato Management Zone be treated. This riparian length includes 363 km of waterways that are either actively eroding or have high erosion potential, plus a further 286 km included for practical reasons. These streambanks were not included in the existing Karapiro Catchment Control Scheme, or are outside the area concerned by the scheme. Treatment may have included fencing to exclude stock access to stream margins, with planting where appropriate. Provision for alternative water supply where access to natural water will be denied was included in the proposals.

Land use capability assessments for the Middle Waikato management zone show a total of 4130 ha which can be classified for erosion risk potential as severe. It is estimated that 15 percent of this erosion has been treated. It was proposed to treat a further 10 percent of the severe hill country type erosion. Works may include retirement from grazing of eroding land and block planting of trees or open pole planting.

Based on feedback from the Liaison Subcommittee, a considerably lower level of protections was proposed. Council considered however, that the level of work proposed was insufficient to meet even the highest priority needs of the zone. As a consequence it has added a further $90,000 spread over three years to the capital programme for this zone. This will be promoted in a measured way in association with education programmes. It is proposed that the effectiveness of the works be evaluated at the conclusion of the initial period to determine whether to proceed to further works.

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