Bay of Plenty Regional Council has welcomed the release of Environment Aotearoa 2019 report which highlights the most pressing environmental issues New Zealand is facing.

The council plans to take a deeper look at the report which outlines nine priority issues in need of attention particularly those impacting on this region.

These include native plants, animals and ecosystems under threat and changes to the vegetation which is degrading soil and water quality, and urban growth which is reducing versatile land and native biodiversity.

Other priority areas of concern are waterways polluted in farming areas, pollution in
urban areas and the way we fish affecting the health of our ocean environment.

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Also taking water changes flows which affect our freshwater ecosystems; New Zealand high greenhouse gas emissions per person and the fact that climate change is already affecting Aotearoa New Zealand.

The regional council's Integrated Catchments general manager Chris Ingle said these issues are already recognised by Council and many are already in our current work plan.

In some cases, the regional council will need government agencies to take a lead, as we do not have legislated mandates to respond in all of these areas, Inglis said.

In particular, the regional council has put considerable time and funding into working with our communities to improve the water quality in the Bay of Plenty waterways and was continuing work on improving the biodiversity of our region," he said.

"We are also currently consulting on our Annual Plan for 2019/20 which directly includes a question on what the community would like us to focus our Climate Change work on, which is one of the nine priority issues."

The report was prepared by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ.

Ingle said the next steps for the council were to take a deeper look at the report and decide if further action is required in addition to its current work programme to help address the issues highlighted.