R U O Y
O T A K I A W
ISSUEJ U N#E 82 2014
UNCIL O C L A N O I G IKATO RE A W M O R F E WS UPDAT E N L A N IO G E YOUR R
waikatoregion.govt.nz 0800 800 401
! e v i t i t e p m o c y l l a r u t a n dscape s a nd environ m e nt – th e nu m b e r o ne r e a son why p e ople vis it
L a rg est of on produce r io n s – Ne Zeal w a nd’ s mo valu st a b le vege fre s h ta b l e exp or t
t ta n n p or gio m i e ost cing r m T h e p r o d u la n d l Zea era m in n N e w i
y all on nt i t Na ifica r n o sig rrid co t r o sp ra n
Ne wZ ele e ctr alan d’s icit ge ne y p ele ratin regio remi er c tr n, g m ic ot h e r it y t h o re sin gl e a n a n y re g io n
Wa te Ma r s se c o nd r lb o ro a qu o acu ugh S nly to ltur oun ep ro d d s for uc t io n
Strong local communities with healthy environments are the bedrock of Waikato’s success nationally and internationally. We’re known for our natural environment from which we produce great products through innovative systems and processes developed by smart, hard working people. We’re naturally competitive. And we face relentless challenge. Extreme weather batters our communities, threatening our safety and primary production. Our environmental performance is under increasing international scrutiny and the safety of our food has been questioned. We’re already using most of our productive land and much of the water available from our streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. And exotic plants and animals are an ever present threat to our health and environment.
th e to on e ti m Ho o p o r io n r p ta t e s t p la n N e w g r la of t s in la n d es Zea for
ge du ow catio n le d ge and ba se
The environmental, economic and social issues our region is facing are complex and interlinked and can only be resolved through the combined resources of many people working together on new and creative ideas for keeping our environment healthy, growing a strong economy and building resilient communities.
ga turin n u fa c a m l s sfu tr ie s Succe ndu s r in g i e e n i e ng
You can be part of the solution by sharing your ideas – small and simple or completely ‘out there’ suggestions that could radically transform how we use the Waikato’s natural resources. Your ideas could shape future policy and services in the Waikato.
New Ze aland’s most im portant dair ying region
Share your thoughts for creating an even better future for Waikato and enter the draw to win a wonderful Waikato weekend of adventure for two.*
AT FIELDAYS 11-14 JUNE WAIKATO REGIONAL COUNCIL
PF19 IN THE
*Terms and conditions apply
Not visiting Fieldays ? Share your ideas online until 14 June... ®
A 30 year plan to keep you moving Work is underway on a 30 year plan for the development of Waikato’s land transport system. The new regional land transport plan is being developed by Waikato’s regional transport committee, comprising two regional councillors, 10 local council mayors and a NZ Transport Agency representative. The plan will set out how we intend to develop the region’s land transport system over the next 30 years. It will identify key transport problems and associated objectives for the region, and outline key transport activities to be undertaken. We are halfway through developing the draft plan and have identified the key transport issues facing the region and related objectives to guide decision making. We have also identified some key transport priorities to focus on in the next 10 years. June 2014: Consultation document released for public comment
November 2014: Draft Regional Land Transport Plan consultation begins
February 2015: Public hearings to hear submissions
March 2015: Deliberations by Regional Transport Committee
December 2014: Draft Regional Land Transport Plan consultation period closes
The key objectives that have been developed for the region are based around the themes of economic development, safety, access and mobility, affordability, and environmental sustainability.
Tell us what you think April 2015: Final Regional Land Transport Plan adopted
In some way we all use Waikato’s land transport system, whether it’s by travelling on our public buses, cycling, driving or walking to get to work, study and play. So it’s important we get your feedback on whether we’ve got the transport issues, objectives and priorities right because this will influence the rest of the draft plan’s development.
A consultation document will be available from 13 June 2014 outlining the draft policy framework for the plan. Visit waikatoregion.govt.nz/rltp to provide us with your feedback. Consultation closes on 4 July 2014.
Regional transport issues • High people, tourism and freight movements within and through the Waikato region require efficient transport networks to enhance economic development. • Changing demographics mean we will need to rethink how we provide transport services for different parts of the region. • Road users are exposed to high levels of risk in the region which requires ongoing collaborative effort to continue the decline in road deaths and serious injuries. • Increasing costs and a declining funding base for transport investment is affecting the ability of local and central government to maintain and develop the regional land transport system. • Increasing global and local pressures mean we need to ensure we have a resilient land transport system for road users who travel within and through the Waikato region.
Spotlight on public transport The next issue of Your Waikato will arrive in letterboxes in September with information on a proposed new bus network for the region. Waikato Regional Council is reviewing the public transport plan and is looking at how bus routes and levels of service provided across the region can be more efficient and user friendly. Feedback we receive from the public in September will inform decisions being made on the draft plan, which will be released for public consultation in November. We look forward to hearing from you later in the year!
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Growing green wins supreme Congratulations to Taupō farmers Mike and Sharon Barton, winners of the Supreme title in the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The Bartons, who farm the 142ha Glen Emmreth farm at Tihoi, also won the soil management award and the innovation award. As owners of one of the 80 farms at the heart of the world leading project to protect Lake Taupō, the Bartons have adopted innovative farming practices and established their own Taupō Beef brand, marketing their meat direct to high-end restaurants accompanied by a brand story of top quality meat grown in an environmentally sustainable way. In 2011, as part of the brand trial to see if consumers would pay more for an environmentally sustainable product, Waikato Regional Council agreed to support the brand trial with an environmental tick confirming the meat is produced in compliance with the council’s most stringent rules to protect water quality. During the trial, diners indicated a clear preference for Taupō Beef, with the Bartons’ more expensive product outselling other restaurant beef dishes four to one. In the post trial evaluation, consumers said the tick was important.
Council chair Paula Southgate said the Bartons were deserving farm environment award winners. “Consumers have already recognised their exceptional environmental performance by showing their willingness to pay more for their product,” she says. “The clean, green story is important and we have seen that consumers are prepared to pay for high quality product produced in an environmentally sustainable way, with the regional council tick adding credibility to the Taupō Beef brand story.” Each year the farming consent held by the Bartons is audited to confirm their farming practices continue to comply with the environmental standards, ensuring the integrity of the brand is maintained. Waikato Regional Council is interested in looking at whether a green tick might be used by other businesses to communicate their superior environmental performance to consumers. Waikato Regional Council – working with others to build a Waikato that has a healthy environment, a strong economy and vibrant communities.
Kauri dieback search on Coromandel The hunt for signs of the tree disease kauri dieback on the Coromandel has been stepped up by agencies involved in the Kauri Dieback Programme.
Coromandel, the regional council – via the programme – has received many calls from concerned residents of both the Coromandel and beyond.
It comes after kauri dieback was confirmed in the Coromandel in late March this year at a Department of Conservation (DOC) reserve within the Whangapoua forest.
Regional council staff have been kept busy visiting various sites reported by the public but at time of writing no further cases of kauri dieback had been confirmed.
The reserve has been closed pending the outcome of further investigations both in the reserve and across the Coromandel.
However, many of the kauri checked out during this process have been ailing or had died due to environmental factors, including kauri suffering as a result of the recent long, hot, dry summer. Sometimes ailing kauri had been planted in a way that did not give the tree’s feeding roots sufficient protection from the elements.
The Kauri Dieback Programme, which includes Waikato Regional Council and DOC, has undertaken aerial surveillance around the Coromandel Peninsula and surrounding areas. The aerial surveillance is being followed up by ongoing groundbased checks and soil sampling. Once the results of the further soil sampling are known a report will be submitted to the Minister of Conservation. Since the announcement of kauri dieback being found in
Kauri dieback itself is spread through soil movement by animals, machinery and people. Those visiting the bush, especially people who have visited areas where kauri dieback is known to be, should always ensure their footwear and equipment is thoroughly cleaned before entering the bush and again after leaving. Regional council biosecurity officer Benson Lockhart taking soil samples.
Cycling in the spotlight A survey of nearly 700 rural road cyclists recently carried out in the Waikato will be used to inform future cycle safety policy and investment decisions. Cycling in the Waikato is becoming increasingly popular. This has been boosted with the development of cycle trails, the opening of the Avantidrome and the many large cycling events hosted in the region.
A series of interviews have been held with cycling representatives along with a web based survey of 675 individuals who use rural roads for cycling. The findings of this work can be read in a summary report available on the council’s website. The next steps for this work include detailed route mapping which will be shared with road controlling authorities across the region. It is anticipated that going forward regional agencies will work together on route improvements and coordinated cycle safety projects to reduce the risk for this vulnerable road user group.
With more cyclists on the roads, Waikato Regional Council is proactively seeking to understand the extent and nature of rural road cycling and the particular risks that face rural cyclists. • 60% aged 35-54 • 60% have been cycling for 6 years or more • 25% have been cyclists for over 20 years • 43% live in a big urban area and ride out to rural areas • Almost 60% don’t ride with any organised group • Traffic volume, road surface and shoulder width specific road issues
BUSIT for free to the Fieldays Waikato Regional Council is making it even easier to get to the Fieldays this year.
Buy your Fieldays ticket online, show it to the driver on any Hamilton urban bus on the day of entry, and you’ll travel for free. Once you’ve arrived at the Transport Centre in Bryce Street, hop on the free Fieldays buses to Mystery Creek departing until 10.30am daily. More people using public transport will help to relieve congestion across the city and especially in the vicinity of Mystery Creek. It also encourages more people to use our buses. www.busit.co.nz www.fieldays.co.nz/bus www.streamticketing.co.nz YOUR WAIKATO
Funding community action A quacking good cause Nick Singers is on a mission to control rat and stoat populations in Lake Taupō Forest so the endangered native blue duck (whio) can successfully breed along the banks of the Waimarino River. The freelance ecologist received a $17,700 grant from Waikato Regional Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund to undertake the work on behalf of the Lake Taupō Forest Trust, Crown Forestry Ltd and New Zealand Forest Managers Ltd. “The project came about through serendipitous timing. I had undertaken a survey and the trustees of Lake Taupō Forest were keen to re-establish whio within their lands,” said Mr Singers. “My survey identified a really neat little population of about 26 blue ducks that are doing okay above a waterfall on the upper Waimarino River,” said Mr Singers. “But blue ducks are not present in the lower
Waimarino River within the forest because of greater predation pressure,” he said. The blue duck is endemic to New Zealand and is classified as a nationally vulnerable species which is undergoing a rapid decline due to predators, habitat loss and human disturbance. Tongariro inmates with carpentry skills have just begun making 300 trap boxes, which will be set over a 16km stretch of river habitat in July and August, just before the breeding season. The blue duck recovery project will be undertaken over five years on the Waimarino River. However, significant changes could be seen as soon as this year if it’s a successful trapping and breeding season, said Mr Singers. The project has also received funding from the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust and the Central North Island Blue Duck Trust.
Other projects we’re funding this year Community groups seeking funding for environmental restoration or education projects should apply at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/eif.
Education through entertainment Matt and Andy consider themselves earth’s customer service team and want to inspire action to reduce waste going into the bin. To help achieve their ideal of zero waste, the dynamic duo is visiting Waikato businesses, schools, tertiary institutions and other organisations to deliver their environmental message with a 15 minute performance incorporating song, satire and audience interaction. They also attend events such as The Waikato Show, where they were joined
at our Ripple Effect stand by the council’s chair Paula Southgate (pictured). Matt and Andy want more people to use reusable coffee cups and water bottles. However, their zero waste message is larger than that and includes changing the way we live our daily lives. To help them deliver their message, the Hamilton Performing Arts Trust received a grant of $14,970 from Waikato Regional Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund.
Te Awa River Ride Charitable Trust for vegetation removal along the Waikato River between Hamilton and Horotiu Para Kore Marae to extend their waste minimisation education and support programme to five Waikato community organisations Miranda Naturalists’ Trust to build a boardwalk to access the bird viewing hide at Miranda Coromandel Peninsula Coastal Walkways Society for native planting and removal of wilding pines at Rings Beach wetland The Friends of Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve Trust for the delivery of the Experiencing Marine Reserves educational programme Kate James for genetic research into the invasive Asian kelp Undaria pinnatifida Project Kiwi to undertake a comprehensive ecological survey of habitat and biodiversity on the Kuaotuna Peninsula EcoQuest to restore 4.7ha of coastal vegetation and intertidal wading bird habitat OrganicFarm Waikato for three field days to present organic solutions to soil degradation problems in the Waikato region Te Kauae o Maui Nature Reserve, near Colville, for an extensive survey of lizard populations on the property Cambridge Rotary Club for kokako translocation to the Maungatautari Ecological Island Project, subject to approval from the Kokako Recovery Group Captain James Cook Memorial Working Group toward planting an area along the Waihou River that will become part of a Cook memorial site Habitat Enhancement and Landcare Partnership (Waihi) for a riparian planting trial along the Ohinemuri River A Rocha NZ toward the cost of developing a comprehensive seabird restoration plan for Karioi mountain near Raglan Moehau Environment Group for educational projects Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society for display banners about the history of Pirongia Forest Park
$20,000 $11,400 $3500 $4300 $5000 $6000 $21,500 $5000 $2300 $1600 $25,000 $5300 $26,300 $15,000 $21,500 $4900
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