Our role

We have a variety of roles when it comes to caring for Northland’s water. These include:

Freshwater Management

Access to freshwater is essential for the wellbeing of people, the environment, and our economy.  Effective management of freshwater means having the right qualities and quantities of water available to support each of these wellbeings.


The Northland Regional Council has a broad programme for improving water quality. Find out about the Waiora Northland Water programme

River monitoring

We operate a region-wide hydrometric network for the measurement, recording and reporting of rainfall, river flows, lake and groundwater levels.
View river monitoring results from our State of the Environment Report

Flood management

As part of hazard management planning, the NRC operates the flood management scheme of the Awanui and Kaihu Rivers.

Pollution control

We operate a 24/7 Environmental Hotline to respond to incidents such as spills into waterways phone:
0800 504 639.

Farm dairy effluent

We carry out monitoring and education programmes to help ensure that farmers are managing their farm dairy effluent responsibly.
Find publications we produce on managing farm dairy effluent.

Water testing

We contract the Whangarei District Council's water testing laboratory to test our samples and use the results to make decisions on managing waterways.
View our State of the Environment Report

Lake monitoring

The Regional Council assists with the management and monitoring of Northland’s lakes.
View lake monitoring research and reports


We process hundreds of resource consents every year for people who take, use or discharge into Northland’s waterways.


We currently monitor water quality monthly at 21 sites on eight different river systems.
View our State of the Environment Report