The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management is a part of the Government’s ongoing reforms to improve the way that fresh water is managed. The bulk of the responsibility for implementing these requirements falls upon regional councils. However, the Ministry for the Environment recognises that there will be impacts on the three waters sector as major water users and as managers of stormwater, sewerage and drinking water infrastructure.
This paper outlines some of the implications that the Freshwater NPS may have on the three waters sector. It then describes the Ministry’s project, as part of the wider guidance and implementation programme, specifically targeted to help territorial authorities as water users, land managers and operators of three waters infrastructure. It describes how a design thinking approach has been used to identify three key issues facing the three waters sector in relation to the Freshwater NPS, and outlines the general approach being considered for supporting territorial authorities to address these.