Freshwater Working Groups

Council has established freshwater working groups as a means to share information and work with the community in setting freshwater objectives and limits as required by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (2014).  This page is intended to support our freshwater working groups and provide information for those wishing to be kept informed of the process.

National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

Central government's "National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management” (NPS-FM) sets up a new direction for the management of freshwater resources in New Zealand. Freshwater quality (what is in the water) in Nelson needs to be maintained and enhanced. For freshwater quantity (how much), there needs to be an improvement in the way we use and allocate water.

The NPS-FM sets out objectives and policies that direct Council to manage water in a sustainable way, while providing for economic growth within set water quantity and quality limits. 

Freshwater Management Units

The NPS-FM requires us to identify freshwater management units (FMUs) which are groups of water bodies that are similar, both physically and/or socially (e.g. who uses them and for what). We have identified five FMUs in our region, being Whangamoa, Wakapuaka, Maitai, Stoke and Roding.  Each of these FMUs vary in land uses, water quality and quantity issues, and our options for future sustainable management.

gis freshwater management 7nov2016

 View a larger version (1MB PDF)

Freshwater Working Groups

In 2015, we established three freshwater working groups which cover North Nelson (Whangamoa/Wakapuaka), Maitai and Stoke FMU areas.  The purpose of these groups is to share knowledge and work together through the planning process to help inform the setting of freshwater objectives and limits as prescribed in the NPS-FM. 

Our groups are set up as working and advisory groups, providing opportunities to foster conversations and relationships and to share learnings and skill development between members and Council. They are not governance or decision-making groups. 

Our group membership includes representatives from iwi, catchment residents and landowners, government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community groups, the scientific community, forestry companies, the farming community, water users, and businesses.    

For more information on our freshwater working groups or if you would like to become involved, please contact nelson.plan@ncc.govt.nz.

Freshwater Planning and the Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan

The process to set freshwater objectives and limits will ultimately be used for the development of the freshwater section of the Whakamahere Whakatu Nelson Plan which will replace the current Nelson Resource Management Plan.

The following diagram shows the process we are working through to develop the freshwater section of the Nelson Plan, guided by the NPS-FM and the statutory Resource Management Act plan preparation process.

preparation fresh water section nelson plan

Preparation of the freshwater section of the Nelson Plan

It is anticipated that our freshwater working groups will continue to meet until such time that the draft Nelson Plan freshwater section has been developed. There will also be opportunities for targeted engagement with stakeholders such as forestry, industry and farmers/landowners.  We are also working in partnership with Iwi of Te Tau Ihu, through an iwi working group, to discuss and seek feedback on the significant resource management issues to iwi and preparation of the Nelson Plan.

It is anticipated that the wider community will also have the opportunity to get involved and comment on the freshwater section of the Draft Nelson Plan once released for feedback.

More information on the Nelson Plan, including the process and timeframes, can be viewed here.

We are also working with our community to implement a number of existing non-regulatory programmes which contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of Nelson’s freshwater bodies including Nelson Nature.   

Useful Information and Reports

Report Author Date Available
Water Quality in NZ: Understanding the Science PCE (Parliamentary Commission for Environment) 2012 Water Quality in NZ: Understanding the Science
Managing water quality – examining the 2014 national policy statement PCE (Parliamentary Commission for Environment) 2015 Managing water quality: Examining the 2014 National Policy Statement
Water quality in New Zealand – land use and nutrient pollution PCE (Parliamentary Commission for Environment) 2015 Water quality in New Zealand
Distribution and spawning of freshwater fish within the waterways administered by the NCC Fish & Wildlife Services 2014 Distribution and spawning of freshwater fish within the waterways administered by the NCC (555KB PDF)
Aquatic Sites of Significance The Catalyst Group 2015 Draft RPS Research and Technical Documents
Roding and Maitai River Users Survey Greenaway 2015 Draft RPS Research and Technical Documents
2014 SOE Freshwater Results NCC 2015 River and Stream health
Stoke Streams Rescue – final project report NCC 2013 Stoke Streams Rescue
Maitai River Municipal Supply Aquatic Ecology – Summary of Environmental Effects Cawthron Institute 2016 Maitai River municipal supply aquatic ecology AEE 2016 (12MB PDF)
Planning 101 presentation NCC 2016 Nelson Plan Water FMU combined workshop presentation (1.7MB PDF)
2016 NZ Stormwater Conference Paper – Iconic Urban Waterway and Stormwater Channel: Reviving the Maitai River NCC/Friends of the Maitai 2016

Conference Paper
Presentation (2.4MB PPTX)

Applying Low Impact (Water Sensitive) Design in Nelson Tasman Landcare Research & Morphum Environmental Ltd June 2016 Applying Low Impact (Water Sensitive) Design Report (3.7MB PDF)
A framework for setting minimum flows and allocation limits presentation Joe Hay (Cawthron) 15 December 2016 Nelson Plan - Water - Framework for setting minimum flows and allocation limits by Joe Hay (Cawthron) (9.6MB PPT) (3.7MB PDF)
Nelson Freshwater Quality: An Analysis of State and Issues

The Catalyst Group

2015 Nelson Freshwater Quality: An Analysis of State and Issues (4.2MB PDF)