Supporting scientific papers for Our fresh water 2017 report

This page contains links to science papers that informed Our fresh water 2017 report.



Reporting the Results of Cultural Assessments: from site assessments to catchment wide reporting


This report presents a case study of cultural assessments for fresh water in the Waitaki catchment in Canterbury. It demonstrates how site-by-site assessments can be aggregated up to a sub-catchment or catchment level, to ensure cultural health reporting can better inform regional freshwater planning.

He Pātaka Wai Ora Report (Waikouaiti River, Otago)




This report provides an overview of the He Pātaka Wai Ora project, which integrated scientific and matauranga māori monitoring methods to establish the state of freshwater species’ biodiversity and water quality in the Waikouaiti catchment in North Otago.

The results will be used by Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki to identify degraded mahinga kai sites, and inform community-led restoration programmes and management plans.

The results of this project have also informed the Ministry for the Environment/Stats NZ ‘Our fresh water 2017’ report.

This report is to be read in conjunction with He Pātaka Wai Ora: Methods and Results.

He Pātaka Wai Ora: Methods and Results


This report presents the methods and statistical results of the He Pātaka Wai Ora project.

It is to be read in conjunction with He Pātaka Wai Ora Report (Waikouaiti River, Otago).

A Pressure-State-Impact Model for Freshwater Flows: with example application to Canterbury


This report outlines the development of a pressure-state-impact model to predict the effect of water abstractions on river flows, using Canterbury as a case study. The report also proposes a framework for gathering data on water take consents.

Together, this model and database could be used to produce data for environmental reporting, and as a tool to report and manage water consents around New Zealand.

National Water Allocation Statistics for Environmental Reporting


This report aimed to develop national level statistics on water allocation to quantify the pressures on river flows, and in turn freshwater ecosystems. The results of the analysis can be used to produce a national picture of water allocation, and to indicate its potential pressures on freshwater.

Temporal Trends in the Relative Abundance of New Zealand Freshwater Fishes: analysis of New Zealand freshwater fish database records


This report presents trends in the abundance of freshwater species between 1977 and 2015 based on standardised data from the New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database.

The key aim of the study was to develop more accurate methods for calculating the size and trends of freshwater fish species in New Zealand, to improve future environmental reporting.

The report also gives a snapshot of the population trends in both indigenous and exotic fish species between 1977 and 2015.

Urban Streams Water Quality State and Trends


This report looks at the state and trends of water quality in urban streams, with a focus on Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Data on the state of water quality is based on samples taken between 2013–2015, while trends were assessed based on eight years of data from 2008–2015.

Water Quality in New Zealand Rivers: Modelled Water Quality State


This report models the state of water quality along New Zealand’s national river network, using data measured at freshwater monitoring sites between 2009 and 2013.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust Fresh Water Management Project: Six monthly report from 1 January to 30 June 2016

This report outlines the development of a database to house scientific and cultural information on the health of Te Arawa lakes (Bay of Plenty). This forms part of the Cultural Monitoring Project undertaken by Te Arawa Lakes Trust with support from the Ministry for the Environment.

Strategic assessment of New Zealand’s freshwaters for recreational use: a human health perspective

Escherichia coli in rivers and planktonic cyanobacteria in lakes


This report is a strategic assessment of New Zealand’s freshwaters for recreational use from a human health perspective. It outlines the methods used to produce spatial predictions of E. coli and cynobacterial biovolume at unmonitored locations. The methods used to prepare the water quality variables data, make assessments of the representativeness of the monitoring sites, and to undertake the spatial modelling are described.

The results provide national maps of river E. coli, lake water quality and cyanobacterial biovolume. Measures of model performance and the important relationships between water quality variables and predictors are described and discussed.