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Symposium explores how to best protect soils of Heretaunga Plains

aerial plains

How the valuable soils of the Heretaunga Plains can best be protected while still enabling the region to grow is the focus of a Soils Symposium being held this month.

Hastings District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are organising the ‘community conversation’, to highlight the value of the plains and the competing demands on the land.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says it is very important for the right balance to be struck between the district’s ongoing development requirements and the need to protect the fertile growing soils.

“The produce that’s grown on our land is the key driver of our local economy and as such of huge importance to the region.

“What we need to understand is how we best protect our fertile soils at the same time as managing future growth – including housing, and off-orchard support industries.

“We are currently embarking on our future development strategy and regional spatial plan that will guide our long term decision-making that takes all these factors into consideration.

“The kind of conversation we are having at this symposium will help inform us as we prepare to go through that process.”

The symposium will feature a range of speakers, from soil scientists and iwi, to environmental planners and producers.

These experts will discuss the value of the taonga that is the Heretaunga Plains and potential impacts, such as development and climate change.

Producers will tell their stories of the value of the plains to growers, and planners will discuss the framework they use for decision-making on land use and development.

The event is open to anyone - residents, farmers, scientists, planners, developers, community groups, and individuals – who is interested in learning more.

It will be held on Friday, July 15, 10am to 4.30pm at Functions on Hastings, Totoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre.

Entry is free, however there are a limited number of seats. People wishing to attend should email Alicia Poszeluk on aliciap@hdc.govt.nz to secure a spot.

1 July 2022

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