Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority received presentations from 26 submitters to the Proposed Kaituna River Document during hearings held in Te Puke recently.
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority chairman Dean Flavell said the majority of submitters were supportive of the proposed document and of what Te Maru o Kaituna is trying to achieve. They shared their passion for the river and generally advocated for a balanced approach.
"The Kaituna River and its catchment can be likened to a taonga, a valued treasure of great importance, and the Kaituna River Document is Te Arataki-hou (new direction) for the restoration, protection and enhancement of the Kaituna River.
We received a total of 62 submissions from a wide range of sectors including iwi, conservation, recreational user and special interest groups, as well as individuals with a general interest in the river. The submissions highlighted that not only is the river valued by local iwi and the community, it's also internationally renowned among rafters and kayakers," Mr Flavell said.
"A real mix of views were expressed during the hearings. Some submitters promoted stronger environmental aspirations for the river, others a greater focus on Maori outcomes, culture and history. The river's role in supporting economic growth and employment was also highlighted," he said.
Submitters also suggested changes to some of the proposed provisions, including the wording of the objectives and desired outcomes relating to water quality and quantity.
The Kaituna River Authority is now considering the points raised by submitters.
They'll hold deliberations over the coming months before making decisions on what amendments should be made to the document.
A final version of the Kaituna River Document will then be prepared and released in early 2018.