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Our freshwater 2020 summary

Publication date:  April 2020
Publication reference number:  INFO 932

A six page summary of Our freshwater 2020 which examines the most pressing issues on our freshwater. Four priority freshwater issues have been selected for this report: 

  1. Our native freshwater species and ecosystems are under threat
  2. Water is polluted in urban, farming, and forestry areas
  3. Changing water flows affect our freshwater
  4. Climate change is affecting freshwater in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The report is produced jointly by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ.

Correction: 22 April 2020

We have corrected a sentence on page 3 of Our freshwater 2020 summary. The sentence 'Most of these species (32 of the 39) are members of the galaxiidae family, which includes all whitebait and mudfish species' has been changed to 'Most of these species (32 of the 39) are members of the galaxiidae family, which includes all mudfish and four whitebait species'.

We have corrected the ‘Issues that affect our freshwater environment’ infographic on page 5. The infographic said 67–72% of lakes in urban, pastoral, and forestry areas are in poor ecological health (according to computer models). This has been corrected to 67–77% of lakes in urban, pastoral, and forestry areas are in poor ecological health (according to computer models).

Correction 26 May 2020

We have made a correction to the ‘Issues that affect our freshwater environment’ infographic on page 5. The infographic incorrectly labelled a portion of the pie graph representing the river length that exceeds water quality guidelines as ‘unhealthy’.  This label has been removed.

Read the online summary of the report

Read the full report