As New Zealanders, most of us take a plentiful supply of clean freshwater for granted. However, in many areas our water is under threat from contaminants and/or too much extraction.

National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

Managing the quality and quantity of New Zealand’s freshwater resources is a national responsibility. In 2011, the government introduced the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FW). It aims to improve the management of freshwater throughout New Zealand.

A key purpose of the policy statement is the setting of enforceable water quality and quantity limits. Limits include restricting the amount of contaminants that can be discharged into waterways (eg nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, sediment and faecal contamination) and how much water can be removed (extracted).

These limits must reflect local and national values and reflect tangata whenua values and interests in management and decision making.

Find out more about the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

Environment Southland’s Water and Land 2020 & Beyond project

We have responded to the National Policy Statement through our Water and Land 2020 & Beyond project. It aims to prevent any further decline in water quality, and to help us as a community achieve our goals for water.

The Water and Land 2020 & Beyond project has three main components. The first includes ‘focus activities’ for good management practices. The second involves the forming of the new Water and Land Plan, which will replace the existing Regional Water Plan for Southland. The third component involves the limit setting process for our region’s catchments.

Find out more about Water and Land 2020 & Beyond.


Ngai Tahu ki Murihiku is our lead partner for this project. Together, we will be working with a variety of external partners as part of a Regional Forum (formerly called the steering group). Members of the forum include:

  • Individual farmers
  • Ballance Agri-Nutrients
  • Beef & Lamb NZ
  • Dairy NZ
  • Deer Industry NZ
  • Department of Conservation
  • Federated Farmers
  • Fish & Game NZ
  • Fonterra
  • Gore District Council
  • Invercargill City Council
  • Ministry of Primary Industries
  • Ravensdown
  • Southland Chamber of Commerce
  • Southland District Council
  • Te Ao Marama Inc.