Freshwater package welcomed

Environment Canterbury has welcomed the freshwater package announced today by the Government.

Chair Jenny Hughey acknowledged the hard work the Government and many others had put into the package.

"Through the Canterbury Water Management Strategy and several years of freshwater planning, we have been actively engaged in all the issues it covers," she said. "Our communities - particularly our farmers - have contributed to and engaged on freshwater measures for a long time.

"The Canterbury Water Management Strategy, developed by the Mayoral Forum a decade ago, gave us the right platform to build from," Jenny Hughey said.

"Our 10 water zone committees have been working tirelessly since then on a catchment-specific approach towards improved water quality. Many of these are now included in sub-region plan changes to the Land & Water Regional Plan.

"For example, auditable farm environment plans, enforceable nutrient limits and stock exclusion from waterways have been features of the Canterbury landscape for some time.

"Zone committees are also supporting a range of on-the-ground actions, especially by farmers, to help achieve the water quality outcomes local communities are demanding."

Jenny Hughey said the Government's long-anticipated package provides "greater strength and certainty" in these efforts to improve water quality throughout the region

"We acknowledge the hard work of farmers and the wider community to reduce their nutrient outputs and improve ecosystem health, particularly in these challenging and difficult times for all of us," she said.

"We will now consider the package in detail. I am confident that here in Canterbury we are already well on the way towards achieving what the Government is asking, but there is still much to do."