This page outlines requirements for regional councils when implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. It provides links to progressive implementation programmes of individual councils.
Implementation requirements for regional councils
The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (Freshwater NPS) was released in 2011 and amended in 2014. On 7 August 2017 the Government agreed to amend the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014. The amended Freshwater NPS 2014 took effect on 6 September 2017.
Councils are required to implement the Freshwater NPS in their policies and plans as promptly as is reasonable in the circumstances, and so it is fully completed by no later than 31 December 2025. If councils consider this would be impractical or would result in lower quality planning, they may extend their implementation programme to 31 December 2030.
Where councils could not implement the Freshwater NPS 2011 and Freshwater NPS 2014 by the end of 2015, they were required to identify a programme of time-limited stages for implementation by the 2025 date and to report annually on their progress. The amended Freshwater NPS 2014 requires councils to review their existing plans and implementation programmes and, if necessary, to prepare and publicly notify a revised programme by 31 December 2018.
Links to the progressive implementation programme notified by each council are in the table below. Note that these implementation programmes may not yet reflect the amendments contained in the Freshwater NPS 2014 and are subject to change.
Reviewing the implementation of the Freshwater NPS
In 2017, the Ministry for the Environment and the Land and Water Forum each published reviews of how regional councils are progressing towards implementing the Freshwater NPS. The Government’s review consists of a National Themes Report, as well as separate reports for each of the 16 regions containing more detailed information about the regional councils’ implementation programmes, regional contexts, successes and challenges.
Read the Land and Water Forum report [PDF, 631 KB] [Land and Water Forum website]
Progressive implementation programmes notified by each regional council
Implementation to be completed
Progressive implementation programme (on regional council website)
|Northland||2026||Programme for implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 - Northland Regional Council [PDF, 153 KB] [Northland Regional Council website]|
Proposed NPSFM progressive implementation programme for public notification [PDF, 91 KB] [Auckland Council website]
|Waikato||2027||National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (NPSFM) implementation programme [Waikato Regional Council website]|
|Bay of Plenty||2026||See National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management [Bay of Plenty Regional Council website] |
Freshwater management progressive implementation programme for the Gisborne District 2016-2025 [PDF, 213KB] [Gisborne District Council website]
|Hawke’s Bay||2026||National policy statement for freshwater progressive implementation programme for Hawke's Bay [PDF, 4.28 MB] [Hawkes Bay Regional Council website]|
|Taranaki||2023||Implementation programme for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management [PDF, 757 KB] [Taranaki Regional Council website]|
One Plan Implementation - National Policy Statement On Freshwater Management 2014 [PDF, 196 KB] [Horizons Regional Council website]
(Report on Strategy and Policy Committee Agenda, 9 December 2015)
|Wellington||2025||NPS implementation timetable [Greater Wellington Regional Council website]|
|Nelson||2020||Freshwater implementation programme [PDF, 38.2 KB] [Nelson City Council website]|
Implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management [Tasman District Council website]
|Marlborough||2027||Progressive Programme for Giving Effect to Policy A1 – National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management [PDF, 3.39 MB] [Marlborough District Council website] |
(Report on pages 11-17 of the Planning, Finance and Community Committee Meeting Agenda, 27 July 2017)
|West Coast||West Coast Regional Council reports that the Freshwater NPS 2014 has been implemented in their region.|
|Canterbury||2027||Canterbury Regional Council progressive implementation programme 2015 [PDF, 14 KB] [Environment Canterbury Regional Council website] |
|Otago||Otago Regional Council reports that the Freshwater NPS 2014 has been implemented in their region.|
|Southland||2027||Environment Southland’s Progressive Implementation Programme for Implementing the Policies of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 [Environment Southland website]|