Implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management
The National Policy Statement for Freshwater (NPS-FM) directs Bay of Plenty Regional Council to set new objectives, policies and limits for water management at a local level. These will be publicly consulted on as plan changes to the Regional Natural Resources Plan. The plan changes will be designed to improve water management so that:
- Our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and the estuaries they flow into are kept healthy for people to enjoy
- Water allocation decisions are well informed, sustainable, efficient and based on agreed limits
- Te Mana o te Wai (the unique relationship iwi have with freshwater) is recognised and protected
- Native plants and animals thrive in healthy freshwater habitats.
We're consulting with iwi and have established community reference groups in the Kaituna Maketū, Pongakawa Waitahanui and Rangitāiki catchments, as well as a Regional Water Advisory Panel and Territorial Local Authorities (TLA) Freshwater Collaboration Group to inform this work. Public consultation on the proposed Regional Water and Land Plan changes (as Draft Plan Change 12) will start in 2018. We'll be rolling out similar work in other parts of the region in the coming years.
Timeframes for implementing the 2014 National Policy Statement for Freshwater
Under the NPS-FM, Bay of Plenty Regional Council must develop a programme of time-limited stages for implementing the NPS-FM policies set by central government. The staged implementation program is not open for submissions. We've identified nine Water Management Areas (WMAs) to give us practical geographic areas for delivering on NPS-FM requirements across the region.
On 14 December 2015, Council decided to start NPS-FM work in the Rangitaiki and Kaituna/Maketū and Pongakawa/Waitahanui Water Management Areas first. A 2016 implementation progress report can be found here>> (220KB, pdf).
On 22 June 2017, Council's Regional Direction and Delivery Committee agreed that the next stage of NPS-FM work would roll out in the Tauranga Harbour and Rotorua Lakes WMAs, in the 2017/18 financial year. On 30 November 2017, Council revised the indicative timetable for NPS-FM implementation as follows:
The Bay of Plenty Regional Freshwater Management Framework 2015 (1.54MB, pdf) outlines the general implementation process for each WMA (page 21). The planning documents will go through the full Resource Management Act 1991 plan making process. More detailed outline of the implementation steps and progress for the Rangitāiki and the Kaituna/Maketū and Pongakawa/Waitahanui WMAs is presented below.