Fantastic freshwater feedback from Taranaki communities

Around 550 people have attended Taranaki Regional Council’s freshwater drop-in sessions at the 16 events held around the region over the past two weeks.

The drop-in sessions, which ran from 17 June to 1 July and covered the main urban centres as well as smaller rural locations, were a chance for communities to chat with Council staff about the future of freshwater.

The focus now shifts to online community conversations with a Zoom meeting on 3 July and surveys around key freshwater issues including E. coli, sediment, nutrients, farm practices, water allocation and earthworks available at link)

Chair Charlotte Littlewood praised the high quality, informed and forthright feedback provided by visitors to the drop-in sessions which will be invaluable when the Council sets out targets and limits in a new Land and Freshwater Plan for Taranaki.

“We’ve been absolutely delighted with the terrific turnout at the drop-in events around the maunga,” said Mrs Littlewood.

“It’s not just about the quantity though. Those attending have really engaged with our staff and had open and honest discussions about their concerns and hopes for our rivers and streams.

“We held these sessions to be able to listen to communities, farmers, environmental groups, tamariki, business people and everyone who cares about our waterways, and they have provided vital feedback that will shape the rules around freshwater management.”

The first event, in Ōkato on 17 June, saw people queueing outside the door before the session had started and was the most well attended with more than 60 people packing Hempton Hall.

The drop-in sessions were held far and wide including events in rural communities such as Kaponga, Urenui, Uruti, Waitōtara, Tarata and Te Wera as well as in the main centres including Hāwera, Stratford, Waitara, Inglewood and two events in New Plymouth.

“I’d like to say a huge thanks to all those who came along and made these events such a success,” added Mrs Littlewood.

“This once again shows that our communities are invested in improving Taranaki’s environment. A huge amount of fantastic work has already been done and we know people want to join us on the journey to achieving positive environmental outcomes in the future.”

The Zoom webinar will give attendees the opportunity to listen to Council staff and ask questions. To attend this event, log on via link). The webinar ID is 935 3923 5268.

The online community conversation runs until 2 August and there are two $200 Prezzy Cards up for grabs for those taking part.