The date for sending in a submission on this issue has passed.
NZTA wants to change the Freshwater Plan to weaken the protection currently afforded to the Horokiri, Ration and Pauatahanui Streams. Submissions close Friday 11 March. Make your submission now
As part of building the Transmission Gully motorway the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency to change the Regional Freshwater Plan for the Wellington Region.
NZTA wants to change the Freshwater Plan to weaken the protection currently afforded to the Horokiri, Ration and Pauatahanui Streams. NZTA plans to cause significant damage to these streams (and others) in building Transmission Gully motorway. NZTA believe that they will have trouble getting resource consent to build the motorway if the current protection on these streams stays in place.
The EPA has established a Board of Inquiry to hear the application. The Board is receiving submissions until Friday 11 March.
Below are some points you may wish to make in your submission.
Freshwater ecosystems are in crisis
The most recent assessment of the state of New Zealand native freshwater fish found that two thirds of all species are threatened or at risk and that our freshwater fish are in decline due to habitat loss amongst other reasons (Allibone et al, Conservation Status of New Zealand Freshwater Fish 2009, NZ Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, September 2010). This assessment concluded:
It is apparent that more serious effort is now required to reverse the decline in native freshwater fishes and to manage the instrumental causes of their decline that are ongoing, and in some cases increasing, if the extinction of further freshwater fish is to be prevented.
The streams targeted by the NZTA for reduced protection are known to contain at least two species that are currently at risk and in decline - Shortjawed Kokopu and Giant Kokopu.
It is unacceptable for central government to be aiming to further destroy native fish habitat when the scientists are telling us we need to make greater effort to reverse the decline of native fish if we are to avoid further extinctions.