At Federated Farmers, we are concerned that Hawke’s Bay may experience widespread poverty: water poverty. Water management is crucially important for the future of the Hawke’s Bay region.
The prolonged dry weather affects our entire economy, it affects communities, and it affects families.
Not just farming families, but also the families of people working at companies like Heinz-Watties and all the other agricultural and horticultural processing and services.
Access to water has never been more important.
Classification as outstanding will just be the beginning, we are anxious that the next step will be a rule regime that restricts water access even further, leading to more water poverty.
We disagreed with many of the waterbodies being classified as outstanding, because most met only a single criteria.
We also critiqued the way a whole waterbody was classified as outstanding (such as the whole length of a river) when only part of it met the criteria.
In our view, the classification should only cover areas that actually have the values present.
The large number of waterbodies (being 38,) the massive size of some of them (the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha aquifers) and all five of the major Hawkes Bay Rivers Bay (Wairoa River, Mohaka River, Tutaekuri River, Ngaruroro River and Tukituki River) being classified, suggests that the criteria are currently too broad and the threshold for “outstandingness” is too low.
The large waterbodies, aquifers and 5 main rivers, that cover many square kilometres of urban and primary production land in Hawke’s Bay means much of the Hawke’s Bay population could be affected by one or another. Mapping the underground aquifers was completed in February, this involved 8,000 kilometres of aerial surveying, collecting data which will be processed over the next two years. This knowledge will allow us to make better decisions about the all-important water in our region.
So if you think you are not affected, think again….