Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.
We all might want to get our heads around the brand new Resource Management (National Environment Standards for Freshwater) Regulations which have been create to provide consistent national baseline for the regulation of freshwater management.
These reflect the Government's broader freshwater reforms which are raising the bar for the sustainable management of all freshwater and, to the extent they are affected by freshwater, estuaries and the coastal marine area.
So this is the perfect time to invite you to the two big river events coming up in my diary.
The annual Ōtaki River Walkover is on Wednesday, September 23. Except we bus, even easier because the Otaki a pretty big river to walk the length of.
Then on Wednesday, October 7 is the annual Waikanae River Walkover - an actual walk.
Both of these are long-standing events run by Greater Wellington Regional Council and we are always eager for new people to attend them. Regulars have been coming for years; because they care about what activities GWRC and other agencies have been doing over the course of the year.
Also a lot of these people attending the walkovers are volunteers who are with either the Friends of the Waikanae River, or the Friends of the Ōtaki River. These amazing dedicated volunteers add so much to what we are able to achieve along our river corridors.
The Government's new regulations will more clearly set out GWRC's duties for ensuring sustainable freshwater management across the entire region. This primarily involves controlling land use to maintain and improve water quality and ecosystems in water bodies and coastal water, maintaining the quantity of water in water bodies and coastal water, controlling the taking, use, damming, and diversion of water and controlling the discharge of contaminants.
The new rules focus on wetland protection, barriers to fish passage and farm practices which lead to more intensive land use land and potentially undermine freshwater and freshwater ecosystems. These are all topics of keen interest in the Kāpiti Coast.