National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM)

The updated National Policy Statement for Freshwater (NPS-FM) landed in 2020. This policy outlines how regional councils manage freshwater under the Resource Management Act. This body of work includes a revised One Plan that will be notified by 2024 and be operative by 2026.

This policy allows us the opportunity to actively partner with tangata whenua to determine how fresh water will be managed across the region. We will also be seeking feedback from the community at multiple points across this policy process to ensure many voices are heard and considered to help us find the best solution to manage our precious fresh water resource. 

Te Mana o te Wai

Te Mana o te Wai is the leading concept behind this statement and refers to placing the life-supporting capacity of fresh water at the centre of decision-making. Te Mana o te Wai provides us with a hierarchy to consider when implementing new regulations, this being; first the health and well-being of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems, second the health needs of people, and third the ability of people and communites to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being, now and in the future. 

Each region will have a specific meaning for Te Mana o te Wai which will be formed through conversations with tangata whenua and considering community values. 

Ministry for the Environment NPS Webinars

Translating the NPS-FM and putting it into action
Overview of the new NPS-FM and key changes from the 2017 NPS. Step through key changes - values, attributes, limits and action plans. An overview of the new Freshwater Planning Process.
NPS-FM - vision setting and value identification
Overview of these parts of the NPS-FM and explanations of:
  • Te Mana o te Wai and vision setting; and
  • compulsory values - mahinga kai, threatened species and ecosystem health. 
NPS - National Objectives Framework
Overview of the key steps required for the National Objectives Framework with a focus on flows and attribute identification including nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment.