What are visions?
Long-term freshwater visions are how we all want freshwater to be in the future.
Under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) Councils must set long-term freshwater visions for each Freshwater Management Unit (FMU), part of an FMU or for a catchment.
Visions are goals with timeframes which must be both ambitious but reasonable (that is difficult to achieve but not impossible).
They must be developed through engagement with communities and tangata whenua and be informed by an understanding of the history of and environmental pressures within the FMU.
Achieving visions and reaching environmental outcomes ensures that the values of an FMU can continue to be experienced and enjoyed.
Council is required to include long-term visions as objectives in the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan (PMEP).
The NPSFM recognises Māori approach freshwater management in a different way. Council is working with the nine tangata whenua Iwi within Marlborough to identify their visions. The visions will also be incorporated into the council’s planning and decision-making processes to ensure they are provided for.
Proposed vision for the East Coast Complex FMU
The health of the waterbodies and freshwater ecosystems are maintained, protected, and enhanced for current and future generations. There are healthy freshwater systems, a resilient wider environment, and well-connected communities which are actively involved with and understand their catchments.
The natural and scenic values of the East Coast Complex FMU are maintained and protected from degradation. Freshwater and riparian habitats are restored, enhanced and protected.
The Flaxbourne River and associated shallow alluvial gravels and the Black Birch Stream, in the Awatere FMU, continue to be recognised and protected as important sources of drinking water for the East Coast FMU communities. The viability of drinking water supplies for the Ward Township, the wider community and stock is ongoing into the future.
Rivers are performing their natural function of moving water from the mountains and land to the ocean. Pest and weeds are managed within catchments and together with sustainable gravel management, flood damage is minimised. The area continues to be used for recreational purposes and mahinga kai and food gathering.
The productive landscape of the East Coast Complex continues to provide for the economic wellbeing of the community. The rivers are recognised as important sources of irrigation water to the community now and into the future, within the bounds of waterbody and ecosystem health. Storage of water provides an effective response to seasonal water availability issues, contributing to a resilient economy and community.
The feedback on the strawman visions will be considered by the freshwater policy team, amendments will be made where appropriate and timelines will be assigned to these visions as required by the NPSFM.