Should Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere be exempt from National Standards?

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Should Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere be exempt from National Standards?

The Next Steps for Freshwater consultation document was released by the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries on 20 February 2016. It contains 23 initiatives which, if adopted, would result in amendments to the Resource Management Act and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, as well as new national regulations.
Environment Canterbury, in a submission on these proposals, has expressed concerns that if intermittently closing and opening lakes and lagoons (i.e. Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, Waiwera/Lake Forsyth and Wainono Lagoon) are required to meet the same national bottom lines as other lakes, it could mean years of work by the zone committees and others would have to be revisited with “significant costs.”
The Press covered ECan’s concerns in a recent front page article.
On Monday May 2, Kathryn Ryan on RNZ spoke to Ken Hughey, a professor of environmental management at Lincoln University and a founding Trustee of WET.  Ken has a slightly different view – you can listen to his comments here.
Pasture covered hills, lowland lake and rushes
Photo: RNZ / Conan Young
There was no reason for the Canterbury Regional Council to object to the lakes’ inclusion, Ken said.”There are various policies under the existing national policy framework for freshwater management that allow a council to set freshwater objectives below the national bottomlines, such is the case with Lake Ellesmere.”

He said the regional council, with the agreement of farmers and others, was working to limit the amount of nutrients into the lake and reduce them over time.

Professor Hughey said time would be a great healer and the lake was now in a remarkably good state of health for many of the important values, such as wildlife and fisheries. There are concerns for other values such as swimming and the trout fishery, which has collapsed.

He was not sure why the Canterbury Regional Council was objecting to the proposal, he said.

By |2016-05-02T04:08:07+00:00May 2nd, 2016|ECan Notices, News|

Lake is currently:OPEN to the sea Latest lake level reading:0.63m calm average lake level recorded on August 10, 2020 READ MORE >>