On 7 November, the Ministry for the Environment held a press conference to release the new National Objectives Framework around freshwater management. The consultation process is open until 4 February and the discussion document can be found by following this link.
There are some very good things included in this new document, including community collaboration on local values of food security, food production, drinking water, and recreational use in terms of social importance. These are not required to be monitored, unless your local community decides the value of them is high and should be.
From a national level, two major things will be monitored by councils, and they are:
- protect indigenous ecosystems
- protect human health
Within each of these there will be science-based monitoring of specific levels of, say, nitrogen and phosphorous. The main point of this framework is there will be quite a bit of community collaboration in order to set values for your local waterways.
For a more in-depth look at this, you can watch the video below, or visit the Ministry for the Environment’s website. We would encourage communities to take part in the travelling workshops to be conducted (dates also found on their website).
Rural Women will conduct a survey of our members later on in December.
Rural Women New Zealand is a trustee of Landcare Trust and many Rural Women members have been, or are, very involved with them, and we think the work that’s been done over the last several years has laid a good foundation for communities to begin conversations around this new framework.