Submission on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on Proposed Plan Change 5

Proposed Plan Change 5 (Kaituna River) was notified for submissions on Tuesday 29 June 2021.  Plan Change 5 incorporates the Kaituna River Document into the Regional Policy Statement as is required by the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014.

The Kaituna Document was prepared by Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority, a co-governance entity of iwi and Bay of Plenty Regional Council representatives.  The Kaituna River Document’s purpose is promote the restoration, protection and enhancement of the environmental, cultural, and spiritual well-being of the Kaituna River and its tributaries.

Federated Farmers submitted on Plan Change 5.  While Federated Farmers supports the high-level intent of the plan change, we are concerned about the lack of provision for farming.  Plan Change 5 focuses on tangata whenua, ecological and recreational values but is generally silent on the use of the Kaituna River for farming purposes.  This is problematic given pastural farming and horticulture make up over 50% of the land use within the Kaituna River catchment (with dairy farming being the most prominent land use).  We are particularly concerned that the plan change will unjustly prohibit farmers from using the Kaituna River for farming provisions that are not provided under section 14(3)(b) of the RMA, such as irrigation, dairy shed washdown and effluent purposes.

Please find our full submission to the right.