As part of the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan (Tairāwhiti Plan) review we're updating our Regional Policy Statement (RPS).
What does a Regional Policy Statement do?
It sets out what we want for Tairāwhiti, what’s stopping us achieving these outcomes, and how we'll address these challenges. It also explains how national direction on resource management will be applied in Tairāwhiti and provides guidance on balancing potentially conflicting requirements.
The RPS won’t contain rules like a regional or district plan. It provides high-level direction through policies and objectives setting framework for the rest of the Tairāwhiti Plan.
We asked for feedback
Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey or in person.
What challenges have been identified?
Based on the work undertaken on Tairāwhiti 2050 (the Regional Spatial Plan) and our State of the Environment reporting, we've identified four draft resource management challenges, yet to be tested by iwi or community.
Challenge 1 - Building resilient communities
Tairāwhiti is susceptible to many natural hazards which can damage our natural and built environments and our well-being. Climate change is predicted to increase natural hazard risks.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our communities now and in the future. The effects of climate change have the potential to adversely affect our environment and our ability to prosper.
We must plan for, and respond to, the effects of climate change and natural hazards in a way that:
- reduces risks and impacts for present and future generations, including through appropriate adaptation and mitigation actions
- reduces greenhouse gas emissions and waste
- improves community resilience and the security of water supply
- promotes economic development and diversity and the role of nature-based solutions
- adopts a precautionary approach
- is in partnership with mana whenua
- recognises and learns from mātauranga Māori alongside western science.
Challenge 2 - Protecting what we value
Water is now scarcer, and water quality is worsening in some areas. We’ve seen damage to our soils, biodiversity and habitat through erosion and the loss of cultural and historic heritage.
Mana whenua have reiterated the importance of restoring and maintaining the environment through kaitiakitanga. As kaitiaki (guardians), mana whenua have guardianship of and a responsibility to care for the mana, the tapu, and the mauri of our environment – of plants and animals, of water and land.
Traditional kaitiakitanga in today’s world is a major challenge.
We must plan and manage our natural environment in a way that:
- embraces ki uta ki tai (mountains to sea) and recognises the relationships between, and interconnectedness of all living things and places
- recognises the direct relationship between the health of the environment and the health of the people
- protects and restores the mana and mauri of our natural taonga, particularly indigenous ecosystems and biodiversity
- supports mana whenua in their responsibility of kaitiaki
- prioritises the health and well-being of freshwater
- encourages sustainable land use practices and activities that contribute to ecological diversity, better air quality, cleaner freshwater and coastal waters, and improving wetlands, estuaries and soils.
Challenge 3 - Growth and development
Population growth in Tairāwhiti is increasing demand for housing, employment, business, infrastructure, energy, and social services.
Poorly managed housing development can damage our productive land, the environment, infrastructure and well-being. Unplanned growth of industry in rural areas can lead to unsustainable land use that damages soil, water quality, indigenous biodiversity and landscapes.
We must plan and provide for regional development in a way that:
- meets the needs of our different communities now and in the future
- improves the quality of life for individuals
- recognises the identity of our rural areas and townships
- improves people’s access to what they need, such as parks, shops and playgrounds
- maintains and enhances our natural features and landscapes, natural character, and historic heritage
- encourages healthier and more sustainable ways of living such as public transport, walking and biking
- actively encourages healthier homes with better insulation and quality building materials to reduce fuel costs
- reduces waste.
Challenge 4 - A prosperous Tairāwhiti
Managing natural and physical resources can help realise economic potential and improve social well-being.
We must plan, and provide, for the natural and built environment in a way that:
- provides for use and allocation of common natural resources, such as water or aggregates, in a way that is efficient and fair, particularly where there is significant demand.
- removes or reduces barriers (such as access and water availability) to protecting and enhancing the potential of whenua Māori
- does not compromise productive activities and use of land or regionally significant infrastructure
- provides for regionally significant infrastructure that is sufficient to support development and community needs
- moves us towards sustainable and clean energy
- ensures a plentiful and clean supply of water for all our community
- helps streamline regulation to encourage investment and innovation.