Hawkes Bay residents asked to contribute to river values analysis

Thursday 2 June 2005

Hawkes Bay residents will next week have the opportunity to help Biosecurity New Zealand (BNZ) determine the economic, environmental, cultural and social values of the region's rivers and streams.

BNZ are currently managing a response to an alga, Didymosphenia geminata, (Didymo) in Southland's Mararoa and Lower Waiau rivers. The workshops are one of several tools that BNZ is using to gather information on the impacts of biosecurity incursions in freshwater catchments. The Hastings workshop will be the third in a series of facilitated focus groups. Workshops have already been held in Invercargill and Nelson.

Didymo Incursion Response Manager Kerry Bodmin said the work aimed to build a bigger picture for BNZ of the sorts of values relating to the use – or non-use – of streams and rivers by groups who used them.

"It's not a public consultation process, but more of an analysis. What we're trying to gain is an understanding of the values people place on freshwater catchments so they can be taken into account when considering the issues involved in managing incursions.

"This process will generate some data about the social, cultural, environmental and economic considerations and issues that we believe should be captured as part of the decisions we have to make. We're well aware that those decisions are not all about economics," says Ms Bodmin.

The workshop process involves facilitated focus groups and is being run for BNZ by a private contractor who will be approaching identified community groups in the Hastings area this week and next, to invite them to participate.

Further information on Didymo is available on the BNZ website, www.biosecurity.govt.nz/didymo

Media contact: Brett Sangster Director Corporate Communications 027 247 8887 brett.sangster@maf.govt.nz



Last Updated: 27 September 2010

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