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Consultation on next steps for fresh water

This consultation has closed.

About the consultation

The Government sought feedback on proposed changes to the way fresh water is managed. These reforms aim to improve our management of fresh water to deliver better environmental and economic outcomes and better outcomes for iwi. 

Summary of key proposals

Fresh water and our environment

Amend the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management to improve direction on:

  • exceptions to national bottom lines for catchments with significant infrastructure

  • using the Macroinvertebrate Community Index as a mandatory monitoring method

  • applying water quality attributes to intermittently closing and opening lakes and lagoons

  • what it means to ‘maintain or improve overall water quality’.

Exclude stock from water bodies through regulation. 

Economic use of fresh water Require more efficient use of fresh water and good management practice.
Iwi rights and interests in fresh water

Strengthen Te Mana o te Wai as the underpinning platform for community discussions on fresh water.


Improve iwi/hapū participation in freshwater governance and management.


Better integrate water conservation orders (WCOs) with regional water planning and allow for increased iwi participation and decision-making on WCOs.

Freshwater funding Set up the ‘Next Steps for Freshwater Improvement Fund'.

The proposals are part of the freshwater reform programme that began in 2009. See Reform programme.  

Consultation document

The document Next steps for fresh water sets out the Government's proposals and provides background information.

Public meetings and hui

See below for the public meetings and hui on the proposed reforms. Everyone was invited to attend any of the hui or public meetings. The hui were run in line with local iwi protocols.   

City/town Venue Meeting type Date Time


Ellerslie Event Centre, 80 Ascot Ave, Remuera

Public meeting Tuesday
22 March


Christchurch Riccarton Park Function Centre, 165 Racecourse Rd Public meeting Thursday
17 March
Dunedin Kokiri Centre, 51 Macandrew Rd, South Dunedin Hui Wednesday
30 March
Gisborne Te Tini o Porou, 75 Huxley Rd Hui Tuesday
29 March
Hopuhopu  Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Meeting Room, 451 Old Taupiri Rd, Hopuhopu, Waikato Hui Tuesday
22 March
Invercargill Ascot Park Hotel, cnr Tay St & Racecourse Rd Public meeting Wednesday
30 March
Kaikohe Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi, 16 Mangakahia Rd Hui Friday
1 April
Masterton Masterton Town Hall, 64 Chapel St Hui Thursday
10 March 



East Pier Hotel, 50 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri Public meeting Tuesday
29 March
Nelson Seifried Estate, 168 Redwood Rd, Appleby, Richmond Public meeting Wednesday
23 March
New Plymouth Quality Hotel Plymouth, 220 Courtenay St Hui Monday
21 March
Palmerston North Copthorne Hotel, 110 Fitzherbert Ave Public meeting Thursday
10 March
Rotorua Millenium Hotel, cnr Eruera & Hinemaru Sts Public meeting Monday
14 March
Tauranga Trinity Wharf, 51 Dive Crescent Hui Tuesday
15 March
Te Hapua Te Hiku o Te Ika Marae, Te Hapua Road, Te Hapua, Northland Hui Wednesday
6 April
Timaru The Grosvenor, 26 Cains Tce Public meeting Wednesday
16 March


Hīrangi Marae, Hīrangi Rd Hui Monday
14 March
Wellington West Plaza Hotel, 110 Wakefield St Public meeting Tuesday
8 March
Whakatāne Adventure SolutioNZ, Cnr Golf Links and Thornton Rds Hui Tuesday
15 March


Kingsgate Hotel, 379 Victoria Avenue


11 March


How to make a submission (Submissions are now closed)

  1. Use our online submission form
  2. Download a Word submission form [DOCX, 76KB] or PDF submission form [PDF, 239KB] to complete and return to us 
  3. Write your own submission.

Email your submission to watersubmissions@mfe.govt.nz as a PDF or Microsoft Word document (2003 or later version).

Post your submission to Freshwater Consultation 2016, Ministry for the Environment, PO Box 10362, Wellington 6143.

Submissions closed at 5.00pm on 22 April 2016.

Notes on making a submission

Please include the following information with your submission:

  • title of the consultation
  • your name or organisation name
  • email address
  • postal address.

Your submission can address any issue(s) relating to the proposals. The questions in the discussion document are intended as prompts and to help you organise your responses. Your submission does not have to address every question.  

Publishing and releasing submissions

All or part of any written submission (including names of submitters), may be published on the Ministry for the Environment’s website, www.mfe.govt.nz. Unless you clearly specify otherwise in your submission, the Ministry will consider that you have consented to website posting of both your submission and your name.

Contents of submissions may be released to the public under the Official Information Act 1982 following requests to the Ministry for the Environment (including via email). Please advise if you have any objection to the release of any information contained in a submission and, in particular, which part(s) you consider should be withheld, together with the reason(s) for withholding the information. We will take into account all such objections when responding to requests for copies of, and information on, submissions to this document under the Official Information Act.

The Privacy Act 1993 applies certain principles about the collection, use and disclosure of information about individuals by various agencies, including the Ministry for the Environment. It governs access by individuals to information about themselves held by agencies. Any personal information you supply to the Ministry in the course of making a submission will be used by the Ministry only in relation to the matters covered by this document. Please clearly indicate in your submission if you do not wish your name to be included in any summary of submissions that the Ministry may publish.

Contact for queries

For further information on the proposed changes, the consultation process or how to make a submission, please contact the Ministry for the Environment on: