2018: Developing the draft WIP
The Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee has held meetings with people in the Wairarapa about their recommendations for the future of land and water management in the Ruamāhanga Whaitua.
The Committe held 3 community meetings in May 2018 to explain their recommendations for the future of integrated land and water management in the catchment.
The Committee wasn't able to answer everyone's questions at the meetings and a committment was made to follow up with answers.
Answers to community questions - Meeting 1 - To come
Answers to community questions - Meeting 2 - To come
Answers to community questions - Meeting 3 - To come
The Committee held two meetings with hill country farmers to talk through the recommendations that will specifically impact them.
In April 2018 the Committee held the last of a series of workshops with kaitiaki to inform the development of the WIP recommendations. These hui were of critical importance in achieving mutual understanding and agreement as to the key outcomes proposed in the WIP. They also generated a clear direction as to how the WIP will provide for the enhanced role for mana whenua engagement in Ruamāhanga whaitua management, particularly at an FMU scale.
The Committee has held a number of meetings bringing together groups from the catchment such as Sustainable Wairarapa, Federated Farmers and District Council officers to talk through the recommendations and to provide answers to technical questions.
The Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee reviewed the current water allocation policies and rules in the Proposed Natural Resources Plan. These policies and rules were reviewed in the context of building resilient communities in the face of climatic, environmental and economic challenges.
The Committee concluded that changes were needed in some areas to provide consistent and resilient habitat protection for native fish in rivers across the catchment. The changes proposed included greater restrictions for Category A groundwater takes, and raising the minimum flows in the Upper Ruamāhanga (upstream of the confluence with the Waiohine River) and Waipoua Rivers.
In early 2018 the Committee undertook a process to engage with those who would be directly affected as they were aware of the significant impact these changes would have. They asked the users for feedback on the potential changes, feedback on the timeframes over which any changes could occur, and ideas to help any transition.
Two letters were sent out advising of potential changes and inviting those who would be directly affected to talk with the Committee.
The Committee then hosted 3 public meetings and 2 drop in sessions. These were followed up with another meeting with directly affected water users.
The feedback, ideas and thoughts of those who attended the drop in sessions, community meetings, and who provided written comments were incredibly valuable to the Committee’s discussions. The feedback helped the Committee develop their WIP recommendations around water allocation.
The Committee communicated the outcome of their discussions through a community newsletter. More information on the technical background can be found on the technical reports webpage.