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Freshwater policy update


Minister for the Environment, David Parker, has signalled that he wants to toughen up water quality standards. What this will look like and the timing for any changes is not yet clear although he has said he wants to move very quickly.

This is worth a read https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/100641348/fresh-start-for-water-quality-standards

Minister Parker has recently asked the Land and Water Forum for advice by the end of May 2018 to inform his freshwater policy work programme. Water New Zealand would like to see members get involved in shaping this advice. If you are interested in helping with this, please get in touch with charlotte.cudby@waternz.org.nz or call her on 04 495 0893.

The Ministry for the Environment is also running an urban good management practices work programme to support implementation of the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) in urban areas. A number of Water NZ members are involved.

Water New Zealand is considering what we can do to better support members grapple with the NPS-FM and ensure 3 waters sector interests are well represented in regional planning processes happening round the country. We can’t be active in every region submitting on plans. But we can:

  • Listen to member concerns and feed them into the policy processes underway.
  • Identify hot topics and work to resolve them.
  • For example, the existing resource consent consistency project has clear links to this freshwater work. We will be looking to progress the relevant aspects of that project via the workstreams above.
  • Identify technical priorities and new capability challenges that the NPS-FM will bring and progress them where possible.
  • Provide you with information to better understand the NPS-FM and what it means for you.

For our territorial authority members some questions to think about:

  • If you are an Infrastructure Manager, are you in regular contact with your policy / planning team to ensure your views are being fed into regional planning processes?
  • If you are in policy / planning, are you in regular contact with relevant regional council staff who are running regional planning discussions where these are in progress?
  • Do you feel your 3 waters operational issues are being represented well during regional planning discussions? If not, what could be improved? Feel free to get in touch and let us know your thoughts.

To discuss any of these issues, please contact charlotte.cudby@waternz.org.nz or call on 04 495 0893.