MEDIA RELEASE MARCH 18, 2020

Waikato River Authority welcomes regional council decision on Healthy Rivers Plan

The Waikato River Authority has welcomed today’s decision by the Waikato Regional
Council to adopt the Healthy River Plan (Plan Change 1). The adoption of the Plan
follows recommendations from the Hearings Panel on final submissions.
Co-chairs of the Authority, Hon John Luxton and Roger Pikia say the long and
detailed process of developing and adopting the Plan will ultimately mean a better
future for the Waikato River and Waipā River.
John Luxton says the Authority’s main goal has always been that the Plan Change
gives effect to Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato (Vision & Strategy).
“We are pleased that the final plan supports Te Ture Whaimana which is a
fundamental mechanism for restoring and protecting the river, and also required by
law.
“The entire process to develop and adopt the Plan has taken nearly a decade, but
there are now an extensive number of rules that must be met to ensure better
environmental outcomes for the Waikato River and Waipā River,” says Mr Luxton.
Roger Pikia says that it is especially pleasing to have seen the collaborative approach
with all the communities of interest in the catchment being part of the formation of
the Healthy Rivers Plan.
“The collaboration and consultation through the development of the Plan has meant
that the knowledge and understanding of Te Ture Whaimana has spread far and
wide. This has been a benefit for the Waikato and Waipā beyond just the Plan itself,”
says Mr Pikia.
The Hearings Plan Report and Recommendations to the Waikato Regional Council
concluded that:
“Te Ture Whaimana may not require that every metre of the length of the Waikato
River be safe for swimming and safe for food gathering, but our view is that those
reaches where that standard of water quality does not apply should very much be
the exception rather than the rule if Te Ture Whaimana is to be given appropriate

effect.”

Ends