a The need to encourage community well being and viability in a manner that which will ensure the sustainable management of Westlands natural and physical resources.
Westland is well endowed with natural and physical resources on which the viability of Westland's communities depend, both directly and indirectly. Reliance on the resource base has been a feature of Westland's population for more than 100 years. As in other parts of New Zealand, the number of people living in the District has fluctuated as different resources are utilised. Population numbers peaked in the 1860's during the goldrush and now Westland District supports just over 9,200 people, of which approximately 40% live in Hokitika.
Loss of population can severely limit the viability of a range of services and has a negative impact on the economic and social structure, and the health of what in Westland are predominantly small, tight-knit and often isolated communities. The Council has given priority to the issue of community viability and recognises people as a most important asset to Westland District. The Council is very aware that sustainability of the natural and physical resource base is fundamental to, and is interconnected with, the continued welfare of the District's communities. For example, a safe and efficient state highway network is essential to enable people to move themselves and goods. Development should therefore not occur where it will mean that "bottom lines" are threatened, that is, that there will be a level of resource use or degradation at which severe or irreversible damage occurs. Above this, the Council will be guided by a number of performance standards designed to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects.
3.2.1 To establish levels of environmental quality for Westland which enable people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural well being, while meeting the principles of sustainable management of natural and physical resources.
a Will allow clear provision to be made for establishing the level of environmental quality desirable in Westland.
a Recognises the principle of sustainable management and also the importance of people and communities in Westland.
aWill provide people and communities with the necessary power and freedom to use, develop and protect natural and physical resources as they see fit within a framework set by environmental "bottom-lines" and performance standards.