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15.2 Consultation

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The Lower Waikato Liaison Subcommittee noted that soil conservation has not previously been a significant issue in the zone. While it is agreed that soil conservation is beneficial, the appropriate level of works to achieve economic benefits has been questioned. It suggested that more cost benefit analysis be conducted into soil conservation proposals and the possibility of a pilot project was suggested. Views have been expressed both ways as to whether soil conservation should be purely a landowner responsibility, or whether some form of assistance should be available. However it is also noted that there would be a faster uptake of soil conservation if assistance was provided, including educational assistance. The effects of forestry harvesting have been questioned and it has been suggested that it may be preferable to retire land.

The importance of funding on a catchment wide basis was emphasised, particularly as the main channel is a ‘whole of catchment’ issue. The Subcommittee considered that funding also must be consistent and equitable. It is also considered that a high proportion of the existing budget is consumed in administration and depreciation.

There was support for maintaining the main channel. However landowners are considered to be responsible for log removal from waterways other than the main channel. Some problems have been experienced with conservation areas in this. The Subcommittee also considered that some additional flood protection works might be required in addition to those proposed. It also notes that there are boundary issues between separate rating areas.

The need for a consistent approach in planning for future development of flood plains was recognised.