A Common Direction for Water
Management in New Zealand
Water provides great opportunities for all of us – for our ecologies and environments, our farms and our cities, for recreation and for tourists, as well as for energy production and industry. It is a source of life and food, and it is a central part of our identity, particularly for iwi. Water thus has multiple uses and sustains multiple values, which sometimes complement each other, and sometimes conflict.
To maximise these opportunities for now as well as for future generations, and to protect and enhance our unique heritage, we need a better way to manage water in New Zealand – less confrontational, more collaborative, and more effective.
The Land and Water Forum brings together a range of industry groups, environmental and recreational NGOs, iwi, scientists, and other organisations with a stake in freshwater and land management. The Forum’s members are joined by active observers from local and central government.
The Forum’s objective is to develop a shared vision and a common way forward among all those with an interest in water, through a stakeholder-led collaborative process.
The first phase of the Forum’s work lasted from August 2009 to August 2010 and resulted in the report A Fresh Start for Freshwater (pdf 1.07MB).
On 18 May 2012, the Forum released the Second Report of the Land and Water Forum (pdf 1.75 MB). It provides a national framework within which Regional Councils will work with their communities and iwi to set freshwater objectives and develop limits for its use. It provides a consistent and transparent process for setting objectives and limits, and one that will lead to effective and enduring outcomes, including greater certainty for investment and development.
On 15 November 2012, the Forum released the Third Report of the Land and Water Forum (pdf, 4 MB) on managing within limits. It recommends integrated decision-making in catchments, continuous improvement of management practices to improve water quality and clearer rights to take and use water within set limits.
Find out more about the Land and Water Forum’s work