Council aims to provide clean and accessible water by managing activities that impact on water quality and quantity.

Nelson’s water is a valuable resource for social, cultural, economic and environmental reasons.

While water quality and ecosystem health are generally good in the upper reaches of most river catchments in Nelson, the effects of urban, pastoral, and production land uses are apparent with degraded water quality in the lower part of some catchments. 

When Council spoke to the community in November 2015 about the Nelson Plan review, support was given for the actions and planned improvements to the Maitai and other waterbodies. Respondents also raised concern in relation to discharges to waterways and the need for a precautionary approach for water takes, particularly groundwater.

The government’s ‘National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management’ (NPS-FM) sets up a new direction for the management of freshwater resources in New Zealand. Freshwater quality in Nelson needs to be maintained and enhanced. For freshwater quantity, there needs to be an improvement in the way we use and allocate water.

As required by the NPS-FM, Council is developing a framework which will identify freshwater outcomes (how we desire our waterbodies to be now and in the future), and set limits and methods to achieve these outcomes. 

The draft Regional Policy Statement identifies what we value about Nelson’s waterbodies and indicates our work to date in developing region-wide outcomes.  Over the remainder of 2016 we will continue to work with our stakeholders to confirm the freshwater framework and this information will be used to inform both our rules and non-regulatory methods in the Nelson Plan.

Does this draft RPS section on Freshwater miss any significant resource management issues? Is Council responding appropriately to the issues related to this topic?


Download the Freshwater chapter of the Draft RPS (1.5MB PDF)

Download the full Draft RPS (2.4MB PDF)

Research and technical documents