Objective 3-5, Policies 3-14 and 3-15, and the associated methods set up the policy framework for managing contaminated land in the Region, including an approach to determining priority contaminated land and a process to establish a consistent information system across the Region.

The consistent management and appropriate remediation of contaminated land is of national concern because of the significant threat these sites* pose to the environment.

Contaminated land is any site* where past (or present) activities have left a hazardous substance* that has, or is reasonably likely to have, significant adverse effects. In order to adequately protect people and the environment, contaminated land needs to be located and remediated as necessary. A number of sites* have been located in the Region already - mainly timber treatment yards, gasworks sites*, and landfills* - and because of this can be managed appropriately as land use changes. However, the increase in residential subdivision in rural areas in recent years means that other contaminated land such as horticulture and sheep dip sites*, yet to be identified on the ground, pose a threat to people moving into those areas. These are considered priority sites*, along with sites* already identified. The Regional Council will work with Territorial Authorities to determine where pressure for residential development is expected in the next 10 years and to identify the risks associated with contaminated land.