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A. To ensure that activities being undertaken on the District's lakes and rivers occur in a manner which avoids, remedies or mitigates their effects on wildlife habitats, other natural conservation values and tangata whenua values.
a. Liaison shall generally occur with the Department of Conservation and the Fish and Game Council on issues related to activities on the surface of lakes and rivers.
The council will, through the above liaison mechanism, monitor the incidence, extent and character of activities carried out on the surface of water bodies. If future conflicts arise, the Council, will consider a Plan Change to require a resource consent for commercial activities.
b. Monitor the effectiveness and suitability of provisions in plans and related decisions in resource consents and instigate a change to the Plan to address any issues/effects not being dealt with under the provisions of the plan.
The District contains a considerable range and variety of rivers and lakes, not all of which are suitable (physically or environmentally) for use by activities on their surface waters. Activities on the surface of water bodies can generate a range of impacts, from effects on other users of the resource, for example noise and disruption of wilderness values, to ecological impacts on aquatic plants and animals. Many activities do not generate harmful impacts however, and contribute to people's enjoyment of Westland District, and as such are generally encouraged.
Other legislation also has a role in controlling activities on the surface water bodies and includes the Reserves Act, Wildlife Act, Water Recreation Regulations, Fisheries Act, Conservation Act and the National Parks Act. These laws largely control recreational use, safety and navigational issues. Commercial boating operations on the surface of lakes and rivers must comply with the requirements of the Maritime Safety Authority for the craft and its crewing.
Although significant conflicts between resource users do not currently occur in Westland, there is potential for localised problems in specific areas, in particular between motorised craft and more passive forms of recreation such as swimming. As most, if not all waterways and lakes with significant wildlife values fall within the conservation estate, the Council considers that further controls on recreational use of waterways for the purpose of wildlife protection is not necessary at this stage. The Council will however monitor to ensure that conflicts between activities, in particular on lakes, are avoided, remedied or mitigated. Lakes identified as requiring monitoring include Lake Mahinapua, Lake Wahapo, Lake Mapourika and Lake Kaniere.
A limited number of rivers in Westland have concessions to commercially operate jetboats, fishing and canoe trips. The concessions are issued by the Department of Conservation. Most rivers are located within the conservation estate and are subject to this concession process. Accordingly it is not considered necessary to place further restrictions on activities on the surface of rivers. The activities have not reached a level where, for example, significant traffic and carparking is generated at the point where the public accesses such activities.
Consultation will generally be undertaken with the Department of Conservation in relation to activities on the surface of lakes and rivers in recognition of their interest in this matter. It is however recognised that the Department's aspirations may not necessarily coincide with those of the Council's.
Anticipated Environmental Outcomes
Implementation of the above policies and parent objectives is expected to achieve the following outcomes.
I Maintenance and enhancement of recreational, wildlife and amenity values of lakes and rivers.
II A range of activities utilising the surface of lakes and rivers in Westland with minimal or no conflict between users.