RMA Doing its Job in the Bay of Plenty

  • Simon Upton

"The Bay of Plenty's environment report, Postcards from the Bay, provides tangible proof of what local government and the RMA can achieve in terms of administrative and environmental performance when they work in partnership with industry," said the Minister for the Environment, Hon Simon Upton.

"The Resource Management Act was put in place to improve the management of our environment and the Bay of Plenty's own score card shows the kind of positive outcomes that can be achieved".

Highlights of the Bay of Plenty Postcards from the Bay publication included:

- Only one landfill in the Bay of Plenty was permitted in 1989, but now all fourteen have permits.
- The total discharge of nitrogen and phosphorous from piggeries into water reduced by 95% over the last years
Over the past nine years the volume of sewage discharged to water decreased - and discharges to land increased - thus reducing the water pollution in the bay of Plenty.

The Bay of Plenty report divided the farming, rural and industrial sectors into user groups so that ultimately each user can assess its compliance and resource use trends over time - and see how their own score card compares with other sectors.

"The general picture to emerge from the report is of much improved compliance and tighter environmental controls, but there is still room for improvement," Mr Upton continued. "For example the average percentage of dairies complying with resource consents on the first compliance visit is only 70% (although it is 98% on the second visit).

Mr Upton concluded, "This government is convinced that the principles of the Act are sound, but we are aware that its implementation and administration need improvement. This is the focus of current review work."

The report "Postcards from the Bay" has been officially released by Environment Bay of Plenty today.