Next week, the HB Regional Council will be conducting its two-day Regional Water Symposium. I’m looking forward to participating.

HBRC’s brochure on the Symposium emphasizes its ambition and importance, calling it …

“… the key opportunity to take part in discussions about water allocation and contribute your views toward planning for a better future. Sector and water user representatives will be joined by central and local government to work together to maximize the benefits for Hawke’s Bay as a region. Bringing all interests into the room together, we will discuss the key issues, hear different perspectives and consider the environmental, economic, social and cultural wellbeing associated with each … Council will use the Symposium to help formulate the policies required for water management in Hawke’s Bay at a regional level. We hope that symposium participants will mandate a Hawke’s Bay Water Allocation Taskforce to help form and refine draft policies before moving on to a formal public consultation process.”

Here’s a recent TV3 video report on NZ’s daunting freshwater allocation issues. While the focus of this eleven minute report is on Canterbury, the epicenter of NZ’s water controversy, the issues it describes and the current sloooow movement of the resolution process, at both national and regional levels, are fully applicable to Hawke’s Bay and help put the HB Symposium in context.

We’ll report on the Symposium next week.

Tom Belford

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1 Comment

  1. After recently watching Darren Doherty youtube videos, the issue is more why are we taking from rivers, when we can be accessing water from gravity induced ponds. Water catchement areas that are local and are indeed are beneficial for economic, environmental etc etc wellbeing. Keystone designs maximise water uptake by the soil, excellent for carbon sequestation, livestock and crops. Farmers could have multi layered farming systems. Drought would be less of a risk.
    Allocation becomes less of an issue when water is stored in natural areas on farms. Investment by Council in water catchement for the district is a benefit now and in the future by encouraging farmers to create water on their farms that don’t have connections to rivers. This would help rehydrate ridges, which in turn would rehydrate rivers.

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