From Gary Taylor, Chairman of the Environmental Defence Society, here’s an excellent overview of the environmental issues on the table for resolution at the national level in 2010.

Perhaps of greatest direct significance to us in Hawke’s Bay are pending decisions on national freshwater management and coastal development.

Writing today in the NZ Herald, Gary says:

“On a positive note, the Land and Water Forum will complete its work and report to Environment Minister Nick Smith and Agriculture Minister David Carter in July.

It is expected to recommend a completely new approach to the management of one of New Zealand’s most valuable resources: fresh water.

The forum’s brief requires it to consider water use, water quality and governance arrangements. If the forum can reach consensus amongst the wide range of participants, the Government can be expected to implement its recommendations.”

And on coastal development:

“As the economy picks up, there will be a mini boom in coastal subdivision. Calls for better management and national direction will grow. Conservation Minister Tim Groser will have to release the revised coastal policy statement and decide whether to adopt it. He’ll have to take time out of his trade portfolio and give the issue the serious attention it deserves. Failure to improve the regime for coastal subdivision would be hugely disappointing.”

The entire column is worth a read.

Tom Belford

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