Fresh water matters to people. It is essential to life. And it's part of our everyday lives – socially, culturally, spiritually and economically. The regional council has a responsibility to manage it sustainably.
We are seeing improvements in water quality in our region. This is a result of the collective efforts of many parties, both voluntarily and through regulation. Much remains to be done.
We want to build on this momentum, working with people who live, work, and play in our region to plan for the freshwater future we want.        

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.

Our Freshwater Future

We’re proposing a collaborative, catchment-based approach. We intend to work with communities to take stock of what progress we’ve made with fresh water, confirm what outcomes we are seeking to achieve, and check that we have the right set of measures in place to get there.
We believe we should look beyond the regional council’s powers to consider the contributions that the regional council, district and city councils, iwi, industry, and community groups can make. We think all of this should come together in catchment strategies, which will guide the way we manage fresh water in the future.
To read more about our regional approach, click here.

Our plans are still flexible: we are sharing our ideas and plans 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.

Manawatū Catchment Strategy | Te Ia O Manawatū

The first area we plan to focus on is the Manawatū River catchment, from Norsewood to Foxton Beach. Over half of our region’s people live in this area. Towns, industry, and agriculture have impacted on water quality over decades—leading to some bad press in the past. Importantly, there is already strong public engagement around restoring the health of the awa.

We’re working to get a process underway for the Manawatū in the next few months.
To find out more about what we propose, click here.

NPS-FM Implementation in our region


NPS-FM Implementation in our region

Freshwater planning is guided by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. In our region, the One Plan addresses most of the NPSFM’s requirements. It identifies community values and numerical objectives, and takes an integrated approach to improving water quality. The main requirement of the NPSFM that the One Plan does not address is catchment limits, which link instream outcomes with actions on land. 
 Read more here. 

Regulatory Changes

In the longer term, rules in the One Plan will be shaped by the approaches and actions we agree to through Our Freshwater Future.
In the meantime, there are some adjustments we need to make to our existing regulatory framework. These changes are focused on correcting unforeseen consequences of the way intensive land use rules work. You can read more about them here

Kia tangi te toiere, e eke ai ki pae tata, ki pae tawhiti, ki pae ora.
Paddle as one, in stages to the distant destination, that of wellbeing.
What do you think? Let us know below, or by getting in touch with us at



Better Fresh Water: A discussion document


Te Ia O Manawatū: Discussion Document