What is Waiora Northland Water?
About Waiora Northland Water
Waiora Northland Water is all about working together to better manage our region’s precious freshwater resources.
It brings together both existing and new Northland Regional Council work to improve the quality and management of our lakes, rivers, aquifers and wetlands.
New government requirements for managing freshwater
Alongside the council’s existing work on water quality and water use, Waiora Northland Water encompasses new government requirements for managing freshwater.
Under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014, regional councils will collaborate with communities to set goals and standards for managing freshwater resources. You can read this policy statement on the Ministry for the Environment’s website: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/central/nps/freshwater-management.html
We will do this in several ways – by focussing on priority catchments and through region-wide approaches to water management. We will also continue our work with landowners and communities 'on the ground' to improve outcomes for fresh and coastal water bodies.
These approaches are set out in the council's implementation programme for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management in the Northland Region.
The programme was revised in March 2018 and is available to download below:
Draft Regional Swimming Water Quality Targets
In accordance with the requirements of Policy A6(a) of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater, Council has set draft regional targets for swimming water quality in Northland – these are set out in the document below:
Local input on local water management
The council is looking at our waters at a local area level and bringing together local stakeholders to help decide how they’ll be managed.
Local catchment groups have been formed in priority areas with representatives with local interests in water issues. These groups will work to provide local input and recommendations on maintaining and improving freshwater management in their area.
These catchment groups have nominated representatives from a range of local interests – for example, iwi/hapū, landowners, industry (like farming and forestry), environmental groups, recreational users and councils.
This approach brings together people with differing views and requires them to listen to other opinions and strive for consensus on how their local waters can best be managed for generations to come.
Better integrated management
We know freshwater quality has a major influence on our coastal environment, so we are taking an integrated approach with Waiora Northland Water. Our work to improve freshwater management will also link to our work in the harbours, estuaries and coast of Northland and that of our neighbours in Auckland.
In managing our freshwater we’ll build on what works well, using region-wide approaches where appropriate and localised solutions for specific issues.
For example, we’ll continue to encourage good practice and promote it through our Environment Fund. We have existing rules set out in our Regional Water and Soil Plan. We've reviewed our three regional plans (Air, Land and Water and Coastal) and written a draft new regional plan to update those rules and better manage our resources for generations to come.