Freshwater policy

Government direction on managing freshwater

The Government has provided direction on managing freshwater through the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (NPSFM).

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

The NPSFM includes direction on the management of both water quality and water quantity, the protection of wetlands and outstanding freshwater bodies. It is to be fully implemented by 2025. Most of the NPSFM requirements are required to be included in regional plans. Council has made good progress so far – for more detail see our Proposed Regional Plan.

However, a number of water quality related requirements have yet to be completed. Council’s programme to address these matters and implement the NPSFM was revised in March 2018 and is available to download below:

Programme for Implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (PDF, 154KB)

Swimming water quality targets

The NPSFM also requires council to set regional targets for swimming water quality (in accordance with Policy A6) – these are set out in the document below:

Regional swimming water quality targets for Northland December 2018 (PDF, 253KB)

These targets are ‘interim’ in nature as we have yet to finalise a number of water quality related measures that influence swimming water quality (such as objectives and limits for E.coli in the regional plan).