Timeline of freshwater management reforms from 2009

This page provides information about the Government's freshwater reform programme.

The Government's announcement about decisions from the Clean Water consultation is the most recent step in a long series of reforms.

Since 2009 the Government has been working on wide-ranging long-term improvements to how fresh water is managed in New Zealand. It has included water metering regulations in 2009, the National Policy Statement in 2011, the Freshwater National Objective Framework in 2014 and the 90 per cent of lakes and rivers swimmable by 2040 target announced in 2017.

Timeline of fresh water management reforms and initiatives

Year Reforms and initiatives Related documents and web pages
2017

 

 

The Government announces new initiatives to improve our fresh water quality in August following public consultation in early 2017.

 

The proposals build on those presented by the Government in 2016, see Next Steps for fresh water below.

 

 

 

 

 

The amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 took effect on 7 September 2017.

See Latest initiatives to improve our freshwater quality

 

For the discussion document and supporting documents see: Clean water: 90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040

 

Submissions report and recommendations on proposed amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014

 

Read the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 (amended 2017)

2016

 

The Government announces its Next steps for fresh water proposals.

 

The aim is to deliver better environmental and economic outcomes and better outcomes for iwi. 

 

Public consultation is held from 20 February to 22 April 2016.

Discussion document:  Next steps for fresh water 

 

Feedback on freshwater reform proposals 2016

 

Our Land and Water Science Challenge is launched.

 

The challenge involves research to enhance primary sector production while maintaining or improving land and water quality.

See Our land and water website

2015

 

The Environmental Reporting Act 2015 comes into effect.

 

It requires that Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand regularly report on the pressures, states and impacts relating to fresh water and other environmental domains.

 

Environment Aotearoa 2015, the first environmental report under the Environmental Reporting Act 2015, is released. It includes a chapter on the freshwater environment.

About the Environmental Reporting Act 2015

 

Environment Aotearoa 2015

The Government launches the Te Mana o te Wai Fund to help Māori improve the water quality of freshwater bodies of importance to them.

Te Mana o te Wai Fund

2014

The Government amends the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011. The amendments introduce a National Objectives Framework and national bottom lines for water quality.

National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014

2013

 

 

The Government consults on the following freshwater management proposals.

  • Planning as a community – immediate reforms and next step reforms
  • A National Objectives Framework – immediate reforms and next step reforms
  • Managing within quantity and quality limits – immediate reforms and next step reforms

The Government proposes amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011.

Discussion document: Freshwater reform 2013 and beyond

 

Feedback on freshwater reform proposals - 2013 and beyond

 

Proposed amendments to the NPS-FM 2011: A discussion document

 

Submissions on the proposed amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011

2011

The Government introduces the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011.

 

It recognises freshwater management as a nationally significant issue requiring central government direction. It requires regional councils to set freshwater objectives and limits to manage water quality and quantity.

National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2011

The Government launches the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund. It allocates $14.5 million from 2011 to 2014 to seven projects to restore waterways affected by historical pollution.

Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund

 

The Government launches the Irrigation Acceleration Fund.

Irrigation Acceleration Fund [Ministry for Primary Industries website]

2010

The Government introduces the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010.

 

They require water users to measure how much water they use.

Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010

2009

The Government asks the stakeholder-led Land and Water Forum to take a collaborative and consensus-based approach to freshwater management issues in New Zealand. The forum produces four reports.

 

The Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website is launched to help communities access data about water quality in their rivers and lakes.

Land and Water Forum reports [Land and Water Forum website]

 

Government response to the 2011 Land and Water Forum Report [DOC, 42 KB] 

 

LAWA website

 

Find out more

Ministers' media releases - Beehive website

100-plus rivers and lakes to be improved August 2017

90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040 February 2017

Next steps for freshwater February 2016

Clear, robust national standards for water quality July 2014 

Government finalises first stage of freshwater policy July 2013

Ministers welcome final fresh water report November 2012 

Government welcomes new fresh water report May 2012 

Forum to progress next stage in water reforms September 2011 

Funding available to clean up rivers and lakes September 2011

Fresh start for fresh water May 2011 

Other related information

Cabinet papers and related materials

Land and Water Forum website

Reviewed:
09/08/17