Implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (Te Mana o te Wai) for Auckland

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The first round of consultation closed on 17 July 2022. Thank you for having your say.

Through this engagement, we sought feedback on:

  • how you value freshwater
  • what your concerns are (either for a particular water body or for a whole area)
  • what you would like to see achieved in the future, and
  • your views on the proposed Freshwater Management Units

We received 626 pieces of feedback. These came via our online and hard copy feedback forms, the Social Pinpoint tool (an interactive mapping tool to provide site-specific comments), email, and library displays.

We also held two online webinars, where attendees could hear from the planning team and ask questions.

You can find the summary of feedback report here.


What happens next

Your feedback, together with other freshwater related consultation results, will be used to draft a plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) implementation. This work will be consulted on in late 2023. A proposed plan change to the AUP will then be notified for submissions in late 2024.


About the statement

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM 2020) is a government policy that sets the direction on how freshwater should be managed in New Zealand.

This is the fourth version of the NPS-FM. Earlier documents were introduced in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

It applies to all freshwater bodies including:

  • rivers
  • streams
  • lakes
  • wetlands
  • aquifers
  • springs
  • groundwater.


How the NPS-FM 2020 requires us to manage freshwater

The NPS-FM's fundamental concept is Te Mana o te Wai. This refers to the importance and wellbeing of water.

It prioritises:

  • First, the health and wellbeing of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems
  • Second, the health needs for people, such as drinking water
  • Third, the ability of people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being, now and in future.

These priorities were introduced by central Government. They aim to restore, and preserve the balance between water, the wider environment and our communities.


Amending the Auckland Unitary Plan and developing Action Plans

We need to amend the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) and develop action plans to give effect to the NPS-FM including Te Mana o te Wai.

This will affect how we:

  • develop land where it affects freshwater. For example, by discharging sediment or how activities impact streams
  • protect freshwater. For example, to ensure threatened species can flourish and to ensure water is allocated appropriately.

Changes to the rules and other parts of the AUP must be notified by the end of December 2024. Action plans must be prepared as soon as practicable.


NPS-FM freshwater values

The NPS-FM outlines four compulsory values for freshwater management.

  • Ecosystem health- with five key components:
    1. water quality
    2. water quantity
    3. habitat
    4. aquatic life
    5. ecological processes
  • Human contact - people can enjoy and connect with water.
  • Threatened species. We need to have the critical habitats and conditions necessary to support the presence, abundance, survival, and recovery of our threatened species.
  • Mahinga kai - maintaining water bodies can that provide food that is safe to eat, keeping the mauri (life force) of the area intact.

In addition, there are other values we need to consider:

  • Natural form and character - naturally occurring qualities that our community values about a water body, such as the colour and clarity of water.
  • Drinking water supply.
  • Wai tapu - places of significance to tangata whenua
  • Transport and tauranga waka - places where boats can be launched and landed
  • Fishing - places that are valued for fishing
  • Hydro-electric power generation
  • Animal drinking water
  • Irrigation, cultivation, and production of food and beverages.
  • Commercial and industrial use.


Mana whenua engagement

Engagement with mana whenua is ongoing and undertaken through a separate process.

The first round of consultation closed on 17 July 2022. Thank you for having your say.

Through this engagement, we sought feedback on:

  • how you value freshwater
  • what your concerns are (either for a particular water body or for a whole area)
  • what you would like to see achieved in the future, and
  • your views on the proposed Freshwater Management Units

We received 626 pieces of feedback. These came via our online and hard copy feedback forms, the Social Pinpoint tool (an interactive mapping tool to provide site-specific comments), email, and library displays.

We also held two online webinars, where attendees could hear from the planning team and ask questions.

You can find the summary of feedback report here.


What happens next

Your feedback, together with other freshwater related consultation results, will be used to draft a plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) implementation. This work will be consulted on in late 2023. A proposed plan change to the AUP will then be notified for submissions in late 2024.


About the statement

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM 2020) is a government policy that sets the direction on how freshwater should be managed in New Zealand.

This is the fourth version of the NPS-FM. Earlier documents were introduced in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

It applies to all freshwater bodies including:

  • rivers
  • streams
  • lakes
  • wetlands
  • aquifers
  • springs
  • groundwater.


How the NPS-FM 2020 requires us to manage freshwater

The NPS-FM's fundamental concept is Te Mana o te Wai. This refers to the importance and wellbeing of water.

It prioritises:

  • First, the health and wellbeing of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems
  • Second, the health needs for people, such as drinking water
  • Third, the ability of people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being, now and in future.

These priorities were introduced by central Government. They aim to restore, and preserve the balance between water, the wider environment and our communities.


Amending the Auckland Unitary Plan and developing Action Plans

We need to amend the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) and develop action plans to give effect to the NPS-FM including Te Mana o te Wai.

This will affect how we:

  • develop land where it affects freshwater. For example, by discharging sediment or how activities impact streams
  • protect freshwater. For example, to ensure threatened species can flourish and to ensure water is allocated appropriately.

Changes to the rules and other parts of the AUP must be notified by the end of December 2024. Action plans must be prepared as soon as practicable.


NPS-FM freshwater values

The NPS-FM outlines four compulsory values for freshwater management.

  • Ecosystem health- with five key components:
    1. water quality
    2. water quantity
    3. habitat
    4. aquatic life
    5. ecological processes
  • Human contact - people can enjoy and connect with water.
  • Threatened species. We need to have the critical habitats and conditions necessary to support the presence, abundance, survival, and recovery of our threatened species.
  • Mahinga kai - maintaining water bodies can that provide food that is safe to eat, keeping the mauri (life force) of the area intact.

In addition, there are other values we need to consider:

  • Natural form and character - naturally occurring qualities that our community values about a water body, such as the colour and clarity of water.
  • Drinking water supply.
  • Wai tapu - places of significance to tangata whenua
  • Transport and tauranga waka - places where boats can be launched and landed
  • Fishing - places that are valued for fishing
  • Hydro-electric power generation
  • Animal drinking water
  • Irrigation, cultivation, and production of food and beverages.
  • Commercial and industrial use.


Mana whenua engagement

Engagement with mana whenua is ongoing and undertaken through a separate process.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Freshwater Management Areas

    The NPS-FM requires us to identify Freshwater Management Units (FMUs). A Freshwater Management Unit (FMU) is all or any part of a water body or bodies, and their related catchments that a regional council determines is an appropriate unit for freshwater management. 

    We have identified three FMUs as broad freshwater management areas for Auckland. Smaller management areas can be provided for within a FMU, where this is considered the best way to manage water.

    If you would like to provide feedback on Auckland’s FMUs, you can provide it in page 2 of the feedback form.

    Specified Vegetable Growing Area at Pukekohe

    The NPS-FM provides for a specified vegetable growing area at Pukekohe. In managing freshwater, we have to consider the importance of this area to the domestic supply of vegetables and maintaining food security for New Zealand.

    The three FMUs and the Pukekohe vegetable growing area are shown on the map [FMU and Pukekohe map].

    Complete Form
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Page last updated: 16 Sep 2022, 01:04 PM