Catchment groups

The priority catchments for Waiora Northland Water are shown on the map below. Each priority catchment has a catchment group of representative tangata whenua and stakeholders. The catchment groups are working groups established by council to work collaboratively to make consensus recommendations about improving water management.

Open the catchment areas online map in a new window

Or view on the map below:

Click on the green catchment areas on the map to go the following information about each catchment:

  • Catchment group terms of reference
  • Staff contacts
  • Catchment description and other information

What is a catchment?

A catchment is the area of land feeding a river system. All the water deposited on the ground within the catchment combines and flows down to form a single interconnected network of waterbodies including streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and aquifers.

Why focus on a few ‘priority’ areas first?

Improving Northland's freshwater is a huge job and it will take time, so we're focussing first on the catchments and waterbodies that need it the most.

Council's top priorities are protecting our most pristine and precious waterbodies, looking at catchments with water quality and / or water quantity issues, and working on the areas where there's the best opportunity to make a real difference. In these areas, council considered a collaborative approach to developing catchment specific water management solutions is more effective than relying on region-wide approaches developed as part of the new Regional Plan. These catchment specific approaches will be set out in catchment plans which can include regulatory and non-regulatory water management measures.

Water management at the regional scale

At the same time as catchment groups are developing their catchment specific recommendations, region-wide water management provisions are being developed as part of the new Regional Plan. The new Regional Plan allows for the inclusion of catchment plan provisions in catchment specific sections. The catchment specific provisions will apply in addition to / or instead of those in the new Regional Plan. The new Regional Plan is intended to be notified for formal consultation late 2017.

Progress to date

Catchment groups in Mangere, Waitangi, Doubtless Bay, Whangārei and Poutō have developed draft catchment plans. These draft catchment plans include rules and non-regulatory water management recommendations that differ from those applied at the regional scale in the new Regional Plan. The draft catchment plans were open for consultation at the same time as the draft new Regional Plan (8 August – 23 September 2016). Feedback on the draft catchment plans will be considered by the catchment groups before they make their final recommendations to council – it is expected the catchment plans will be finalised by mid-2017 to allow for relevant catchment specific provisions to be included in the new Regional Plan as needed.

Another catchment group – Ngunguru – started up in November 2015, and will focus on operational methods to reduce sediment generation. Their erosion and sediment management plan is due for completion by November 2018.

Catchment groups

Mangere catchment is a mostly low-lying area of intensive agriculture.
Doubtless Bay catchment is one of the most important recreational areas in Northland.
Whangārei Harbour Catchment is located on the south-east coast of Northland.
The Hātea catchment covers 4,470 hectares of the greater harbour catchment.
The Waitangi catchment flows eastwards to the Waitangi estuary where it joins the Bay of Islands.
Poutō catchment includes around 50 dune lakes over 1 hectare in size.
Ngunguru catchment consists of a range of land uses and activities including production forestry.