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.

Oranga Wai | Our Freshwater Future

Oranga Wai | Our Freshwater Future is Horizons Regional Council’s way to ensure you can learn about and be involved in some key changes to freshwater management in our region.

These changes began when central government launched its Essential Freshwater package in 2020 to help everyone prevent further damage to waterways, lakes and streams, and get water bodies and ecosystems back to or maintained at a healthy state.

For Horizons, this involves various rounds of engagement, and working with tangata whenua and other stakeholders, before notifying a change to the One Plan, our guide to managing natural resources in our region.

The Essential Freshwater package has two streams of work – the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) and new regulations such as the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F), stock exclusion regulations and freshwater farm plans. You can learn about NPS-FM work on our dedicated Oranga Wai website, while NES-F information can be found by clicking here.

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.


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

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

Whitebaiting regulations

Whitebait are juvenile native fish that live in our freshwater, made up of six species: īnanga, shortjaw kōkopu, giant kōkopu, banded kōkopu, kōaro, and common smelt.

Whitebaiting is a popular pastime for many throughout the region. New regulations, introduced by the Department of Conservation in 2021, will help reduce fishing pressure on our native fish. Following these regulations is an important part of ensuring the future of whitebait species.

Visit the Department of Conservation website to read the full regulations.

For more information on whitebait species and other native fish in our region, visit the Manawatū River website or the Department of Conservation website.