Media Release – 16 June 2017

Authority announces intention for Vision & Strategy review

The Waikato River Authority has announced its intention to begin a review of the Vision & Strategy for the Waikato and Waipaa rivers – Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato.
The Vision & Strategy has the highest legal standing as a policy and direction setting document in the Waikato River and Waipaa River catchments, with policy from other agencies required to give effect to the Vision & Strategy.
The legislation creating the Waikato River Authority specifically calls for a review of the Vision & Strategy no earlier than five years and no later than ten years after a previous review. The initial Vision & Strategy review took place immediately after the establishment of the Authority six years ago.
Following an evaluation by the Authority of its strategic direction, it has been decided that while the overall vision for the Waikato River will remain, namely for the health and wellbeing of the Waipaa and Waikato Rivers to be restored and protected, the objectives and mechanisms (for example targets and methods) for how the vision will be achieved are to be reviewed.
Waikato River Authority co-chairs Hon John Luxton and Tukoroirangi Morgan say comprehensive input from the Crown and River Iwi will be sought as part of the review.
“There are also many stakeholders with a very strong interest in the future of the Waikato River and we will ensure they are listened to as part of the review,” says Mr Luxton.
An important input into the Vision & Strategy review will be the final outcome of the Healthy Rivers Plan policy being undertaken by the Waikato Regional Council and iwi together with other stakeholders.
“The Healthy Rivers Plan is crucial for the future of the Waikato River. We support its goals to have a cleaner river, so much so, that any winding back of those goals would likely be counter-balanced by a more directive Vision & Strategy,” says Mr Morgan.
The Waikato River Authority, which was formed under special legislation, is approaching its seventh anniversary later this year. The Authority is a co-governance (Crown and River Iwi) organisation with responsibility for overseeing the health and wellbeing of the Waikato and Waipaa rivers.