Building strong networks is the key to successfully implementing Tukituki Plan Change 6, according to the land management team at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Acting Land Management Manager Nathan Heath summarised the work of his eight-strong team during the last financial year (to 30 June 2015).

“What it comes down to is leveraging the expertise of the team with strong primary sector relationships, to adapt and improve practices with landholders and operators,” says Nathan.

“As we get closer to deadlines for new land use rules, my team is working directly with support agencies in particular, but also land users to support best practise land use, bring in nutrient budgets and farm environment plans. All this can be stressful if you haven’t got your head around a plan of action to get to where you want to be, and my team are here to help work through this long-term process.”

Cr Rex Graham chairs HBRC’s Environment & Services Committee, and commended the Land Management team for their impressive effort and dedication to achieve large-scale change, both in the Tukituki catchment and across Hawke’s Bay, up into the east coast hill country.

Councillor comments ranged from forestry harvest issues needing to be tackled in the next 10-12 years, nutrient leaching related to arable farming, hill country work in northern HB and HBRC’s willow and poplar pole planting programme for erosion control.

The Land Management 2014-15 Annual Operational Report summarised the work programme relating to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, a more strategic approach to hill country management, biodiversity protection, ecological enhancement and improving the environmental performance of forestry.

The report also identified a range of emerging issues for further consideration, including water quality issues in other catchments, i.e. Opoutama Beach, more involvement in intensive land uses and horticulture practices on the Heretaunga Plains, working more closely with iwi in priority sub-catchments, land management issues outside of priority catchment areas, wider communication and advertising of report findings and field day events, and the development of a Strategic Plan for Land Management.

Media contact

Cr Rex Graham, Chairman, Environment & Services Committee |P 021 424 972

Nathan Heath, Acting Manager Land Management |P 027 705 4060

Drew Broadley, Community Engagement Manager|P 06 835 2632, 027 445 8290

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