BOPRC makes environment top priority

An annual budget of $171 million has been allocated to environment protection work. File photo.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has announced it will expand on existing efforts to maintain and protect the environment this year.

Chair Doug Leeder says this work is so important that 33 per cent (more than $56 million) of the council’s $171 million annual budget has been allocated to it.

The amount is higher than what is allocated for any of the organisation’s other four outcomes.

“The community has asked for more work to be done in this area and we therefore consider it a priority,” says Doug.

He says the council’s comprehensive environmental monitoring programme supports the Bay of Plenty’s sustainable development, with air quality, biosecurity and pollution prevention all named focus areas for the coming year’s work.

Projects include continuing the Kopeopeo Canal remediation project, improving the quality of aquatic habitats within the canal and wider drainage network, and facilitating drainage and flood relief within the Rangitāiki Drainage Scheme.

The council is also responsible for managing air quality so it doesn’t impact negatively on community health, well-being and the environment.

“While the Bay of Plenty generally enjoys good air quality compared to some other parts of the country, significant issues across the region include open burning in urban areas, domestic burners in Rotorua, agrichemical spraying, pre-shipment fumigation and intensive farming,” says Doug.

“Changes are proposed in the council’s new Regional Air Plan to address these issues, such as expanding air quality monitoring around the Mt Maunganui industrial area and putting in place greater controls around domestic heating burners in Rotorua homes.

“The Bay of Plenty region has relatively good air quality, however air pollution can affect our health and the enjoyment of our environment so we need to manage it carefully,” Doug says.

The regional council is also investing in research and containment of catfish in the Rotorua lakes area after a live catfish was found in Lake Rotoiti in 2016.

While most of the catfish population appears to be around Te Weta Bay, an aquatic pest cordon was installed in April 2017 to prevent further spread around the lake.

The council is also closely monitoring Lakes Tarawera and Rotoma to ensure catfish haven’t spread to other lakes.

“We will also continue to support work by community groups and volunteers to improve our environment,” says Doug.

For further information about the regional council’s environmental protection work visit the regional council’s website:

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Posted on 06-09-2017 15:08 | By Papamoaner

BINGO! A bit of shit floating in our local water, if it is in fact true, not an exaggeration, is the least of our worries. Rain, rain, rain, floods, rising sea levels and temperature, not just locally, but world wide, and here we have people blaming a turd they saw float past! My god! What hope is there? Wait till expired life electric car batteries start piling up when this mad rush of blood to the head over electric cars kicks in mate and the problem gets bigger than our current used tyre epidemic. There are REAL effective ways to minimise climate change, but we don’t listen to our scientists! Prof Peter Barrett predicted this and warned us years ago, many times, and we’ve done nothing.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 06-09-2017 12:22 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Actually, nice bro, you actually managed to hit that one bullseye. Brown stuff in the Harbour is the prime issue that is being ignored.

Pushing the brown stuff uphill

Posted on 05-09-2017 18:31 | By Papamoaner

Good intentions guys, and best of luck with it, but what a battle! Even silly little things like the popularity of laundry with cold water washing powder adds to the problem. Anything that can modify the surface tension of seawater has got to be bad hasn’t it? Starting up the car engine every day x 10k per town is an issue you will never overcome as far as I can see. It’s all about our planet having had a gutsful and preparing to kick us off. In the words of "Old trucker" - whew! (plagearised that).

Spend more?

Posted on 05-09-2017 17:53 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Typical, perhaps they should target the problem rather than just throwing money around?