This is from Moira Cursey from the Waikato Biodiversity Forum -
(It is really important that people also take a look at other issues such as buses. Please do put in a submission - you can just tick boxes or add your own comments - we need heaps of voices to be heard - Katherine)
I sent this out a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd follow up with a reminder to submit on EW Annual Plan especially in relation to the reduction of pest management. See my comments below that may help with your submission. I remind you that decisions could rest upon the numbers submitting for and against a reduction of pest management so please have your say. It has been suggested to me that fronting up to speak to your submission adds weight so if you feel you are able to do this even with a written statement to be read out to support your submission that would be great. If you are able to let me know that you are submitting that would be good so I can guage numbers of you who have a view about the issues below. Cheers Moira
Environment Waikato's draft Annual Plan is out for feedback. Annual Plan website link. http://www.ew.govt.nz/policyandplans/annualplan/annualplan.htm
As a Biodiversity Forum member I would like to draw your attention to the changes in the plan that affect biodiversity protection. See Biosecurity section pages 29 - 32 of the Annual Plan.
The Plan proposes to cut back on animal pest management as part of the Councils plan to keep rate increases at the level of inflation. Biodiversity protection in relation to animal pest management is one of the first areas to be targetted to achieve this reduction. See pages 120 - 124 in the Annual Plan for the details and implications of the proposed changes.
As we know animal pest management and biodiversity protection and enhancement go hand in hand. If any pest management is reduced this is a backward step in biodiversity protection. Gains made to biodiversity protection over the past 10-15 years need to be built upon not eroded away. In relation to finances it is cost effective to build upon these gains not reduce them and have to rebuild at more expense in the future.
The Council proposes 3 options this year to achieve some reduction in rates increases.
Option 1 Deferring 2 operations (Te Kopia and Mokauiti) which would reduce costs by $132,000 and defer pest control on 32,000ha
Option 2 Deferring 4 operations (Te Kopia and Mokauiti, Awaroa/Whangape and Kaimai/Mamaku) which would reduce cost by $295,00 and defer pest control on 194,000ha
Option 3 Deferring 6 operations (Te Kopia and Mokauiti, Awaroa/Whangape and Kaimai/Mamaku, Opuatia/Punga Punga and Waikaretu) which would reduce costs by $500,000 and defer pest control on 211,000ha
There is no option offered to retain pest management at the present Long Term Community Council Plan (LTCCP) levels.
I also suggest that you support the Environmental Initiatives Fund as some Councillors do not see the value of this fund and it could be at risk. Also support the Natural Heritage Fund which is a valuable way of protecting biodiversity on private land when special pieces come up for sale and the fund also has contributed to projects such as Maungatautari and the purchase of land by the NZ Forest Restoration Trust at the headwaters of a river in the Waitomo area.
The Councillors are asking the public for their views. The most vocal voices at present are the members of the community who want minimal spent on biodiversity. Those of us who value biodiversity and the work of EW on animal pest control in relation to biodiversity protection now need to stand up and be counted.
I urge you all to take the time to put in a submission by 1 May. I suggest that you do not tick any of these options. There is a comments section at the bottom of the form in which we can submit to keep pest management at the present LTCCP budget projections.
Make a submission online link
Suggested wording of the submission: I submit to retain pest management at the present LTCCP budget projections levels to ensure the work of biodiversity protection. Therefore I do not support any of the options to reduce pest management as proposed. The present gains in animal pest management should not be eroded by pulling back on any targets previously set. I support the retention of the Environmental Initiatives Fund and the Natural Heritage Fund as valuable ways of protecting biodiversity.
If all Forum members took a few minutes to do this it would be a strong voice for the importance of biodiversity protection.
Please pass this email onto your networks especially your organisations members so that they can submit as well. I suggest individual member submissions can add weight to the numbers game of these submissions.... not just an overall submission from your organisation. It will probably come down to a numbers game and we must make our voices heard.
Let me know if you want help with any aspects of the submission. Phew that was a long email!
Waikato Biodiversity Forum Co-ordinator
31 Friesian Place