Horizons works in partnership with the community to protect and enhance our region's waterways. These waterways are a vital resource; crucial to our economic, environmental, social and cultural wellbeing.

Through our regulatory and non-regulatory work programmes we aim to restore pride and mana in the region's waterways and ensure they are available for the enjoyment of future generations.

Horizons' Freshwater Submission October 2019


Essential Freshwater Package Submission

Submissions to central government’s Essential Freshwater Package closed on 31 October 2019. In addition to supporting LGNZ’s local government sector-wide submission, which includes 13 case studies that have examined the impact of the proposed package on a variety of regions, Horizons Regional Council has also submitted. While Council supports the outcomes government is looking to achieve, including the focus on freshwater ecosystem health, and regulation to manage contaminants, we do not believe a one-size-fits all regulatory approach is the answer. We are also looking to Government to partner with us in developing a suitable transition package for any final agreed changes. Regional Councils are an integral part of the solution and we will continue to work with government to find a solution that provides freshwater reforms that are achievable as well as affordable to our communities.

Freshwater in the Horizons Region


Freshwater in the Horizons Region

Our freshwater team works in a number of different ways: through our involvement with the Manawatū River Leaders' and Lake Horowhenua Accords, our Environmental Grants programme, stream fencing, riparian planting and locating and fixing barriers to native fish migration. We prioritise our efforts by targeting new waterways each year while maintaining catchments targeted previously.

If you'd like to read the documents relating to the Manawatū River Leaders' Accord or Lake Horowhenua Accord check our Lakes & Rivers page here.

Sites of Significance-Aquatic have been identified in the One Plan. These are areas of importance for native fish populations and habitat. Our science team conducts annual fish population monitoring at 30 sites around our Region. The Manawatū River at Whirokino has also been identified as one of the largest known inanga (whitebait) spawning sites in New Zealand. 

Manawatū-Whanganui Regional water quality state and trends 2018


Manawatū-Whanganui Regional water quality state and trends 2018

This report, commissioned by Horizons and completed by Land Water People (LWP), presents the current state of water quality for river water quality monitoring sites across the region, relative to targets set in the One Plan and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM).  The report also presents water quality trends for each site, and across the region for a 10 and a 20 year window, up to 30 June 2017.

E.coli and sediment trends report


Improving trends

An independent report has shown that water quality for sediment and E. coli have improved over the past 7-10 years in the Horizons Region and concluded there are encouraging signs that local scale interventions are collectively contributing to regional scale water quality improvements. The case study, conducted by LWP Ltd and reviewed by NIWA and StatsNZ, was commissioned jointly by the Ministry for the Environment and Horizons Regional Council as a way to understand improving water quality trends in the Manawatū-Whanganui Region. 

MfE: Our fresh water 2017


NZ Environmental Reporting Series

MfE's environmental reporting series provides a national picture of our environment while acknowledging the significance of regional and local variation. This is the most recently produced report on the state of our fresh water, the pressures on this resource, and what that means for us and the environment.

PMCSA New Zealand’s fresh waters: Values, state, trends and human impacts


The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor: Fresh water report

This recent freshwater report is from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. It is split into two sections; a summary report which avoids technical detail but explains the key issues of public concern and a technical and scientifically referenced, review of the state of fresh water in New Zealand and issues related to restoration.

Community Planting Days

If you’re interested in hosting a planting day on your property or joining in one of the many community planting days around the Region, contact the Freshwater Team on toll free 0508 800 800 for further info. Below you'll find our Community Guide to stream restoration using riparian planting, and our Riparian Planting for Bees pamphlet.


Community Guide to Riparian Planting for Stream Restoration
Riparian Plants' Flowering Times for Bees

Riparian planting

Riparian zones can be used to maintain and improve water quality. Once fenced and planted, they filter nutrients, sediment and bacteria that leave the land as runoff. Healthy riparian zones will improve the health of your waterway.

Looking to carry out riparian fencing and planting? Check out our riparian planting guides. There's one for each ecological area. Funding assistance may also be available.

Manawatū Plains
Lower Eastern