What’s happened to date


Proposed Southland Water and Land Plan notified


Science programme and Southland Economic Project help identify the state of our environment, changes required and the economic impact, and assess options.


Government sets out plans for stronger regulation to stop degradation of freshwater by updating the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.


Southland Regional Forum established to advise Environment Southland’s council and Te Ao Mārama board members on the types of limits and methods, drawing on scientific and economic information and community input.


Southland community engagement on values for freshwater – Share Your Wai


Building on the community values, draft objectives for Southland developed that describe what hauora, or healthy resilience, would look like for attributes such as water quality and quantity, sediment levels, aquatic life and safe harvest and consumption of mahinga kai.


New National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater in place, setting further national regulatory and legislative requirements.

2021 Science modelling available showing the level of change required for Southland to meet draft objectives.
2021-22 Regional Forum gathers input and considers science and economic information, as it prepares advice on limits and actions. The initial focus is on the first 10 years.
Regional Forum presents advice to Environment Southland and Te Ao Mārama Inc.

Limits: limits on the amount of contamination that can be discharged to waterbodies and the amount of water that can be taken (abstracted), and a timeframe for reaching these limits.

Actions: Policies and tools to achieve the limits, likely a combination of catchment design, farm system change, land use change and innovation.

What’s next


Opportunities for community input on limits, rules and actions that will help shape Plan Change Tuatahi.


Environment Southland and Te Ao Mārama make decisions and release (‘notify’) Plan Change Tuatahi by end of 2024.


Public submissions and independent review of Plan Change Tuatahi by Freshwater Planning Panel.

From 2025

Apply conditions and rules, ensure compliance, measure and monitor progress.