A public feedback period on the Northland Regional Council’s draft new Regional Policy Statement (RPS) closes on Friday 09 December, but to date has attracted only several submissions since a consultation period began in October.
As the submission deadline looms, Ian Walker, who chairs the council’s Regional Policy and Development Committee, is urging as many Northlanders as possible to take the time to read through - and comment on - the draft.
“This is one of the most important planning tools for managing our region’s resources, and it will have impacts for all Northlanders,” says Cr Walker.
“We’re very keen to get a broad range of opinion and feedback before moving into the next phase of finalising a proposed RPS in mid-2012, which itself will spark another official period of public consultation.”
“Ultimately, we’re aiming for well-integrated management of our natural resources, with a strong connection to the well-being of our communities.”
Once finalised, the new draft will replace an RPS developed more than a decade ago and is expected to be very different to its predecessor, says Cr Walker.
“This new draft is much more high-level, and has a particular emphasis on people and our economic and environmental well-being.
“There is a real focus on economic security and the wise use of common resources, on infrastructure and regional form, as well as water quality and quantity, natural hazards, ecosystems, and our special places. Affordability, certainty and reduction compliance costs are also threaded throughout.”
Councillor Walker says the council is particularly interested in feedback on the draft policies and methods, which set out how the council proposes to address the issues.
“We want to know how people think these will affect them personally and Northland generally – both in terms of costs and benefits.”
The draft new RPS, and information about how to provide feedback on it, are available on the council’s website at www.nrc.govt.nz/newRPS
Information is also available by phoning the regional council on 0800 002 004.