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Welcome to what will become the hub for all things freshwater in Horizons Region.
It is time to take stock of our progress to date, and the initiatives in place to achieve better freshwater outcomes for our region.

Freshwater management is a high priority for our communities, central government, and Horizons Regional Council. The good news is, we are seeing improvement in water quality in our region. This is a result of the collective efforts of many parties, both voluntary and through regulation. We believe that continued improvement is to be achieved by working together with local communities, in each of our catchments, to develop a broad-based action plan.

Our next phase of work will focus on the outcomes we all want, the changes that will be needed, and actions we can take to achieve both. It won’t be focused on regulation – however will, in time, inform amendments to the One Plan and address the requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM).
We need broad-based plans that communities and stakeholders stand behind. And we need to be able to adjust our plans as we learn more about our freshwater systems and which interventions work best. That means working together.

The first of these catchment processes will start in the second half of 2018.

Manawatū Catchment

Over the last few months, we’ve been thinking about how to go about the next phase of planning for better freshwater outcomes across our region. We’ve considered our past experience, looked at what other regions are doing, and listened to what iwi and partner organisations expect of the process. We have appreciated the time people have taken to engage, and the thoughtfulness of responses.
Based on that input, we have developed a catchment-based approach that we think will work for our freshwater bodies and our communities. This approach is outlined in two discussion documents:

  • The first proposes a set of principles to guide how we work with communities across the region, and an indicative schedule of which catchments we will focus on when;
  • The second provides more detail on how we see the process working in the Manawatū Catchment.
These proposals are still flexible: we are sharing our ideas because we want to hear what you think of them. We will be looking to firm up our plans over the next couple of months, so that we can get this important work underway.
What do you think? Have we got it right? What have we overlooked?

Te Ia O Manawatū: Discussion Document


Better Fresh Water: A discussion document


Where to now for the One Plan?

Horizons’ One Plan was pioneering. It foreshadowed national policy in its integrated approach to catchment management and in limiting diffuse nutrient losses. Most of it works, however we’ve also learnt a lot since the One Plan was developed.

The Plan’s intensive land use rules don’t work as well as they should. This has created uncertainty that is difficult for everyone. To resolve this as swiftly as possible, we are investigating a Plan change to realign the nutrient management rules with our Regional Policy Statement. We hope to notify changes towards the end of 2018.

This would see continued improvement in water quality and healthier ecosystems, and regulations that are achievable on most farms by applying good management practice.

The One Plan will continue to evolve as we work to deliver better outcomes for our rivers, lakes, and people.