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Why we are doing Healthy Rivers | Wai Ora

Our rivers are showing the signs of being affected by contaminants, with an increase in algal blooms and decrease in swimmability. The longer we wait to address these effects, the harder and more expensive it will be to fix. 

That’s where Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora comes in. It’s the bold first step in an 80-year journey to achieve rivers that have improved water quality, are safe for food gathering along their entire length and meet the requirements of Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato, the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

It is a change to the Waikato Regional Plan, with rules to manage both point source discharges (such as sewage from towns and waste from factories) and non-point source discharges linked to agriculture. Developed with the community, it allows for the management of nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and bacteria in the Waikato and Waipā rivers.

Plan stages and information

  1. Plan Change 1 in development - 2012 to 2016
  2. Plan Change 1 and Variation 1 notified - 2016 to 2018
  3. Submissions (Plan Change 1 and Variation 1) - 2016 to 2018
  4. Hearings - March to September 2019
  5. Decision notified
  6. Appeals
  7. Plan operative

Timeline for Healthy Rivers Wai Ora