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14 Waipa Management Zone

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Under Project Watershed, the Council formed two subcommittees to represent the Waipa catchment, the Upper Waipa and the Middle Waipa liaison subcommittees. The definition of zone boundary within the Waipa catchment arose from an early request from the Upper Waipa and Mangapu communities for assistance in developing a management strategy to address the catchment-related issues which emerged during the 1998 flood event. The management strategy boundary included the Upper Waipa River above Otorohanga and the flood prone Mangapu and lower Mangaokewa systems. It excluded the Waitomo system because that upper catchment already had a soil conservation scheme, although the lower valley flooding was similar to that in the Mangapu system.

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 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.

This document reflects that decision, and accordingly the work programmes have been combined and a single Waipa zone differential proposed. A single Waipa zone Liaison Subcommittee will agree the detail and timing of the work programme.