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Action for healthy waterways

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Action for healthy waterways

We are reviewing the Government's Action for Healthy Waterways package. This is our summary of the package, please contact us if you would like more information.

National environmental standards

The Government’s new National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-FW), National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM), stock exclusion regulations, and regulations in the measurement and reporting of water takes came into force on 3 September 2020. 

The ‘Action for Healthy Waterways’ package introduces new rules and regulations which are designed to:  

• stop further degradation of New Zealand’s freshwater resources and improve water quality within 5 years 
• reverse past damage and bring New Zealand’s freshwater resources, waterways and ecosystems to a healthy state within a generation.

For more information see the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) website(external link) 
It includes information sheets for iwi/Māori, farmers, horticulturalists, and regional councils.

The immediate changes requiring consent

The immediate changes brought in by the package mean that resource consent will now be required in some circumstances for: 

• intensification of land use
• winter grazing on forage crops beyond defined limits
• stock-holding areas and feedlots 
• structures or other works in waterways that restrict fish movement
• activities that have more than a minor impact on wetlands and streams.

If you plan to undertake any of these activities in Tairāwhiti, please contact us to discuss the likely implications.

What we're doing

We're now reviewing the released documents and further guidance to come from MfE, to determine the implications for our region and alignment with our current plans, policies and rules. 
We'll then adapt our work programmes and discuss with stakeholders and the wider community, so we can deliver on the new requirements together with our partners and communities.

Your feedback and questions

For more information on the Action for Healthy Waterways package in Tairāwhiti please email