Why are changes required?

The health of our waterways is vital for the health of our people, environment, and economy.

Sadly, some of our waterways have poor or declining water quality as they are being impacted by what we do or the changes we are making, urban development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, water use, diversion, damming and so on. This poor or declining water quality is affecting the ecology, swimmability and ability to gather kai (food) and kaimoana (seafood) from these waterways or receiving waterbodies.

Existing rules and regulations have not been enough to prevent the decline in water quality in some of our catchments.

We also need to make sure that the amount of water taken from rivers and groundwater leaves enough in the water body itself for ecosystem health and other important values.

Also, the land and water parts of our Regional Natural Resources Plan are pretty old, and in some cases don’t meet current good practice or align with new national regulations and requirements. So, we need to update them.