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Managing freshwater

Fresh look at managing freshwater in the Bay of Plenty

This page provides information about Bay of Plenty Regional Council's long-term programme for implementing central government's national policy statement for freshwater management (freshwater NPS). 

Under the freshwater NPS Regional Council must manage freshwater (lakes, rivers, aquifers and wetlands) and land around freshwater in an integrated and sustainable way.  

Freshwater management is not new to Regional Council.  Implementation will build on work already being carried out in the Bay of Plenty.

Under the freshwater NPS we have until the end of 2030 to implement a series of actions. Actions include putting in place objectives, limits and (where necessary) targets for water quality and quantity.

Short-term actions

The three main areas for immediate action are:

  • Prioritising water bodies for action
  • Plan changes to address specific issues
  • Reviewing internal systems and knowledge gaps.

While these priority areas and issues are being addressed we will also develop longer-term actions that will integrate the freshwater NPS into established water programmes. This is an adaptive management approach.

Long-term actions

Longer-term actions will be developed in parallel with the short-term work. They will further integrate the freshwater NPS work. Key features of the long-term programme to:

  • Determine and develop region-wide methodologies, framework and scale
  • Address priority catchments
  • Plan for on-going collaboration with tangata whenua
  • Plan for collaborating with stakeholders and community members
  • Ongoing monitoring and adaptive management

An implementation plan sets out how and when the freshwater NPS will be implemented.

The waterbodies and catchments of Tauranga Harbour, Rotorua/Te Arawa Lakes, Kaituna River/Maketū Estuary, Rangitāiki and Ōhiwa Harbour are priorities for Regional Council under the our Ten Year Plan 2012-2022. Implementation of the freshwater NPS will see this work continue.

Progress on the implementation programme will be reported annually through Regional Council's annual reports each October.  

Other links

Ministry for the Environment

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) is the central government department that administers the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. It also provides support and guidance to regional councils. The National Policy Statement is a Resource Management Act tool that provides a prescription of Objectives and Policies that Regional Councils must integrate into their freshwater management frameworks.

Land and Water Forum

The Land and Water Forum came together through a Central Government mandate to find better ways to manage freshwater.  The Forum includes 62 organisations from a range of primary industry groups, environmental and recreational organisations, iwi and other organisations with a range of interests in freshwater and land management.   The Forum provided recommendation to Central Government on how freshwater could be managed.