Some land use activities in parts of the Waikato Region can create a high risk of accelerated erosion of soil resources.
Accelerated soil erosion can cause:
- loss of soil productivity, capability and versatility reducing the ability of the Region’s soil resource to provide for the economic, social and cultural well being of the community
- high suspended sediment loads in streams reducing water quality and smothering aquatic ecosystems
- land instability hazards particularly in steep hill country
- downstream sedimentation increasing the rate of infilling of the Region’s lakes, estuaries, artificial watercourses, rivers, wetlands and cave systems resulting in loss of aquatic habitats and increased risk of flooding
- significant adverse effects on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their taonga, such as ancestral lands, water, and waahi tapu
- significant adverse effects on natural character and ecological values associated with land including the loss of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna1 and the margins of rivers and lakes and the coastal environment, including dune systems
- the discharge of particulate matter into the air to levels that will be inconsistent with the Objectives in Chapter 6.1
- property damage, threats to infrastructure.
The High Risk Erosion Areas* of the Region that are particularly at risk from these activities are:
- Steep hill country throughout Region
- coastal sand country on the west coast and coastal frontal dunes on the east coast
- areas adjacent to estuaries
- areas of high intensity rainfall or areas of light unconsolidated soils, where there is insufficient vegetative cover, insufficient surface water control, or intensive cultivation
- the banks of rivers, lakes and wetlands across the Region
- catchments of estuaries that are areas of significant conversation value on the Coromandel Peninsula
- karst and cave systems.