Guidance on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

This page has guidance for regional councils and other stakeholders on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (as amended 2017). It includes a video for councils and communities explaining the national targets and four statistics associated with E. coli.

Our guidance

Title Description Release Date
A Guide to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 This is the main, overall guide to giving effect to the Freshwater NPS. It contains detail on each objective and policy of the Freshwater NPS. It should be read inconjunction with the detailed guides identified below. 2017
Detailed guidance on specific parts of the Freshwater NPS
A draft technical guide to the Periphyton Attribute Note This technical guidance will help councils with the process set out in the Periphyton Attribute Note in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (as amended 2017). This Note requires regional councils to set appropriate instream concentrations and exceedance criteria for nitrogen and phosphorus to achieve periphyton objectives, while ensuring the outcomes sought for sensitive downstream environments are also achieved. The Note provides a step-by-step process for councils to follow. The technical guidance explains each of the steps in the process and includes worked examples and case studies. 2018
A guide to attributes in Appendix 2 of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (as amended 2017) This guide will help local authorities and water quality scientists understand the role and use of the Appendix 2 attributes. It explains the rationale for attributes and how they can be used to set freshwater objectives. This version includes updates received from users, as well as changes resulting from the 2017 amendments to the Freshwater NPS. The guide also contains comment on monitoring attributes (see also the monitoring guide below). 2018
A draft guide to monitoring under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (as amended 2017) This guide will help local authorities and water quality scientists understand what is required for monitoring freshwater objectives and the values they support under the NPS. It includes information on identifying representative sites, monitoring macroinvertebrates, and using long-term trends. 2018
A draft guide to limits under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (as amended 2017) This guide will help local authorities understand what a limit is, and how limits fit within the national objectives framework. It includes a discussion on allocation and what is over-allocation, and provides some principles for setting limits. 2018
A draft guide to swimming, E. coli, and the national targets under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (as amended 2017) National targets for improved water quality for swimming were introduced in 2017. The target is 90% swimmable water by 2040. This guide explains how the national targets will be achieved, what contribution regional targets will make, and the monitoring requirements for E. coli. 2018
A guide to identifying freshwater management units under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 The Freshwater NPS does not mandate a single correct or preferred way to identify freshwater management units. This guide provides some general direction on matters councils could take into account when identifying freshwater management units in their region. It may also be of use to iwi and hapū, water users, or community members who are participating in a regional freshwater planning process. 2017
Definition and calculation of freshwater quantity over-allocation This working paper produced by NIWA proposes a methodology for calculating over-allocation of fresh water. 2016
A guide to freshwater accounting under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 This guide provides information to help councils establish freshwater accounting systems for water quantity and quality. It sets out the common principles and key components of an effective accounting system and provides general advice and case studies to illustrate key points. 2015
Tools for working with freshwater values This report was produced by the Cawthron Institute for the Ministry for the Environment. It describes tools that may help regional councils and communities to identify and compare values as they go through planning processes and implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. 2015
Additional guidance to assist with implementing the Freshwater NPS
A draft guide to communicating and managing uncertainty when implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 The Freshwater NPS requires regional councils to make decisions about fresh water in their regions, often based on uncertain information. This guide provides practical considerations, principles and methods to help regional council staff identify, assess, communicate and manage uncertainty in freshwater management. It may also be useful for iwi and hapū or community participants in regional freshwater planning processes to better understand these issues 2016
For other freshwater technical reports see our publications section

How we develop guidance and how you can provide feedback

We are continuing to develop guidance resources based on the priorities identified by local government and stakeholders. This means the number of online guidance resource that are currently available will continue to grow and become more detailed as our guidance programme progresses.

Most of our guidance has been targeted towards regional councils, although it’s available to everyone. We’ve started looking at how we can provide guidance and support for some of the other groups involved in, and affected by, freshwater planning such as iwi and hapū, the primary sector, district and city councils, and members of communities.

We develop our guidance with assistance from technical experts. We then release the guidance as a draft and invite comment/clarification from users.

The guidance is finalised six months following its release after incorporating initial feedback from users. However as all the Freshwater NPS guides are living documents we welcome comment or clarification suggestions on them at any time. If you would like to provide feedback on a guide or any other fresh water matter, email us at freshwater@mfe.govt.nz.

Swimming and E. coli explained — video

A video in English (top) and te reo Māori for councils and communities explaining the national targets and four statistics associated with E. coli.

Reviewed:
30/08/18