SNA brief at open day

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The Waikato District Council is to hold an open day to brief the nearly 400 Tamahere landowners who may have the legal label of SNA – significant natural area – placed on their properties.

To be held on Thursday, May 26 from 3pm to 7pm in the Tamahere Community Centre, the drop-in session will allow locals to ask any questions they may have regarding the potential SNA designation.

The information day is being held at the urging of the Tamahere Community Committee, which has been concerned about a lack of consultation over the potentially far-reaching land tags.

Last September, the council notified nearly 400 Tamahere residents by letter that their properties may contain significant natural areas (SNAs), which could change what happens on their land.

In a recent letter to the committee, Jenni Vernon, the council’s strategic planning and resource management team leader, said she was “astonished” by feedback received across the district.

District-wide, 810 landowners had provided feedback with 177 saying their locations were correctly identified but nearly as many – 168 – noting that their locations were not correct.

More than 200 landowners had met council staff at its offices while 450 had phoned the council.

SNAs, which could contain threatened species or rare types of habitat, are being identified by both the district and regional councils who will decide how to protect them in consultation with landowners. This may include the use of rules in district or regional plans as well as funding and assistance by way of rates relief, pest and weed control or fencing.

More on this topic: Second chance on SNAs

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