Waikato Regional Round Up
The Waikato Regional Policy Statement review received 37 appeals to the Environment Court. All appeals have now been resolved with consent orders being approved by the Court.
The Waikato Regional Council is working on a regional plan change - 'Healthy Rivers: Plan for Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai' in partnership between the Waikato and Waipa River Iwi. The aim of this is to give effect to the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River by helping to achieve a reduction over time, of sediment, bacteria and nutrients entering water bodies in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments. Notification is expected in July 2016.
The Proposed Hamilton City District Plan review received 45 appeals. Mediation with various appellants has been underway seeking to resolve these appeals. Seven appeals have since been withdrawn; fourteen have been resolved in their entirety and another in part by consent order. One has been heard by the Environment Court and a decision issued. Hamilton City Council also notified the Ruakura Variation to its Proposed District Plan on 11 November 2015. The purpose of the Variation is to rezone approximately 822ha of land in Ruakura, ensuring a consistent approach to managing development in the area. Fifty submissions have been received and the further submission period is due to commence 17 February 2016.
Progress continues to be made on the Waikato Expressway a road of national significance. In late 2015, the Cambridge section of the Expressway was opened which has relieved the Cambridge townships of a significant volume of traffic. Tenders have been let on the remaining two sections of the Expressway being the Huntly section and the Hamilton section, with the entire Expressway due for completion by 2020.
The Waikato River Authority has announced its next round of funding recipients for projects that contribute to enhancing the quality of the Waikato River and which give effect to the Waikato River Vision and Strategy. This year there has been a focus on projects that support the role of wetlands on the region's water quality
Hamilton City Council has resolved its appeal on the notice of requirement for the Southern Links transport network. Three of the five notices of requirement for the 31km arterial network have now been confirmed. A single appeal to each of the NZ Transport Agency's Waipa and Waikato District notices of requirement remain.