Clean Water package 2017

This page has information on Clean Water – a package of Government initiatives to improve our fresh water.

The package includes a target that 90 per cent of our rivers and lakes are swimmable by 2040, greater information on our water quality for swimming, proposals for changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014, and details of proposals to exclude stock from waterways.  It also launches the $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund.

Consultation document

Read the consultation document on the proposals for improving freshwater management.

See our news item on the Clean Water package

See the Water quality for swimming categories (attribute states) in detail

Public submissions closed on 28 April 2017.

We are now accepting additional submissions on the proposed national swimming targets and related amendments to the Freshwater NPS until 5:00pm on 25 May 2017.

Make a submission

About the Clean Water package

This is the latest in the Government’s work programme to improve New Zealand freshwater management. Policy work is co-led by the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries. It builds on the introduction of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management in 2011 and its amendments in 2014 and earlier funds – Fresh Start for Fresh Water Fund, Irrigation Acceleration Fund and Te Mana o te Wai Fund.

This consultation document covers five components:

  • proposing a target of 90 per cent of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040
  • new maps and information on the current water quality for swimming
  • proposed amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014
  • inviting applications for the Freshwater Improvement Fund
  • detail of policy proposals for excluding stock from waterways.

Proposals for improving freshwater management

The proposals build on those presented for public consultation in 2016, see Freshwater reforms 2016.

A target of 90 per cent of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040

New Zealanders value swimming in our local lakes and rivers and we want to know future generations can too. The Government is proposing a target of 90 per cent of all rivers and lakes are swimmable by 2040. To help achieve this goal, we propose an interim target of 80 per cent by 2030.

Read the consultation document for more information.

Better information on water quality for swimming

Understanding the state of our rivers and lakes is key to deciding where and when improvements are necessary. Working with councils, we’ve gathered national data, and built an online tool that shows water quality for swimming in lakes and rivers. 

See the Water quality for swimming maps.

Amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014

To support the targets, and building on proposals outlined in Next steps for fresh water in 2016, the Government has proposed a suite of amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (NPS-FM) sets out central government direction on how local government will manage fresh water.

Based on the public feedback from the Next steps for fresh water consultation and to support the 90% target, we are proposing amendments to the NPS-FM.

The proposed amendments cover the following areas:

  • swimming and recreational values
  • monitoring macroinvertebrates
  • maintain or improve overall water quality
  • managing nitrogen and phosphorus
  • economic well-being
  • the effect of national bottom lines on infrastructure
  • coastal lakes and lagoons
  • Te Mana o Te Wai.

Read the consultation document for more information.

Exclusion of livestock from waterways

Livestock in waterways can lead to problems with water quality, erosion and sediment. The Government is proposing to exclude cattle, pigs and deer from waterways by 2030. This will protect water quality and ecosystem health by decreasing contaminants including direct pollution from cows, deer and pigs, as well as sediment from trampling of stream margins.

The requirements will start by excluding dairy cattle and pigs from most lakes, rivers and streams from 1 July 2017, and will continue on a staged basis through to 2030, with deadlines depending on stock type and land gradient.

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill currently before Parliament provides explicit provision for these proposed national regulations. It also introduces a nationally standardised infringement regime with instant fines.

Read the consultation document for more information.

Freshwater Improvement Fund

The Freshwater Improvement Fund commits $100 million over 10 years to improve the management of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands. It supports projects, with a total value of $400,000 or more, that help communities manage fresh water within environmental limits.

The 2017 funding round is now closed for applications.

Find out more about the Freshwater Improvement Fund.

Supporting documents

Reviewed:
03/05/17