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Appendix 3: Record of the Meetings

Table 3: Whangarei meeting

Central government direction

  • Water should remain in Crown ownership
  • Concerned about central government control on local government issues. Local government know their own needs best and can deal with it better in their own way. Central government should only play a guidance role
  • Do not want national controls that impact on primary productivity adversely
  • Contaminated water has an impact on human health - would be good to have direction from the Ministry for the Environment such as a stream health template
  • Tie together with drinking water standards
  • Environmental bottom lines are a must - national standards that account for regional variation are needed

Central government involved

  • Money should be made available for riparian planting and fencing from central government
  • Who monitors the regional council?
  • Idea of whole of government is a good one
  • Pilot programmes are a concern because one size does not fit all; conditions are different in Northland
  • There is a lack of scientifically agreed information that determines water quality
  • It is the role of regional councils to establish low flows. Until they are established everyone will be fighting for the water. Scientific, statistical information is needed to support what low flows should be
  • Local government is under-resourced; staff are struggling to monitor. Councils need to look at where plans are directed
  • Need national guidelines on flushing; central government should provide the scientific expertise for this
  • Water storage is insufficient in some Northland towns
  • Cost of sustainable development has to be fairly carried/allocated between central and local government
  • Need to know how much water is available, transparency is important. This information is not available in al regions

Provide more tools

  • Work needs to be done on residual flows
  • When allocated water is rented if the use changes it should go through a new process
  • Water should not be a tradable commodity
  • Need to ensure water quality and an adequate supply of good water
  • Development of market and water rights should only be done once in stream values are identified and protected - low flows are an issue
  • Need to keep discharges out of water
  • The process should be results based
  • Underground aquifers should be protected from overdrawing
  • Need incentives for riparian planting
  • Ownership of water is an issue - first in first served is a problem
  • Auctions/tendering is not the right direction
  • Transfer of consents is a problem
  • Should be incentives for people to collect their own roof water
  • Need to be innovative in the collection of water
  • Soil and water plan in place for Northland - all regional councils should be required to do this
  • Metering and paying for water increases the incentives for efficiency - need to think about how to deal with people who don't pay

Working together

  • Should be working on co-operative basis
  • Pilot programme are a concern because one size does not fit all, conditions are different in Northland
  • Needs to be cooperation and collective agreement to what appropriate approaches are
  • Need to understand the cultural perspective of water - communication and education is needed around this
  • How would the Ministry of Transport change their policies to fit in with this programme?
  • Need a land-use education programme
  • People who contribute to impacts on water quality need to be identified
  • Councils here are already working collaboratively with communities over water issues
  • Awareness raising is a good idea
  • Awareness raising is a good idea - gets people to think about the value of water
  • Central government needs to educate, capture hearts and minds first, then tweak policy and then regulate the violators

Additional issues raised

  • Fertiliser is having a massive impact on water quality. Leads to an increase in weeds
  • The more water you take the lower the water quality will be
  • Councils need to think about water supply and waste-water disposal when considering consent applications for subdivision. Septic tanks affect water quality
  • Need to look at the relationship between fresh and marine water

Table 4: Auckland meeting

Central government direction

  • A national policy statement and national environmental standard are major concerns
  • Do not want central government intervention
  • There is conflict between the national interest/direction and the local interest/control
  • Central government direction is a must
  • Make sure costs are fair - not one size fits all
  • Central government should create framework/tools so that local communities can do the work on the ground. This needs funding

Central government involved

  • Need to move to planning/land use
  • There is a lack of best practice at regional council
  • There are inconsistencies and absences in regional policy statements. This reflects a lack of competence
  • The regional council model has not worked. A catchment model would be better
  • Look overseas for information - need to learn from others, for example, United Nations website
  • Need to understand the resource we are allocating and how much water we really need: end use efficiency
  • Do we have to keep spending more money and more time to get 90% acceptance?
  • Funding needs to be transparent - don't pay for others' water allocation problems
  • Need institutional strengthening
  • Need a nationally funded science programme
  • Need to address the local government capacity issue
  • Policy needs to be based on proper science foundation
  • Need to balance conflicting issues
  • Science then policy then implementation
  • Needs to be sharing of best practice - data needs to be distributed. This is a role for central government
  • Data collection and quality assurance guidelines are needed to help local people collect the data
  • Need an index of compatible and incompatible activities. Should rate these activities/values.

Provide more tools

  • Primary produces should come first for the allocation of water
  • Concerned about security of tenure
  • It is important to remember the importance of enterprise and ensuring business investment. Need certainty around this
  • Need an overall cost for water
  • Need some way of prioritising uses
  • Need to use an intrinsic values/ecosystems approach

Working together

  • The church is an appropriate channel for consulting and educating people
  • Need a lot more community education - communities have to take responsibility for water, they are obliged to look after the water for future generations. This will add to the buy in by the community
  • Need to empower communities

Additional issues raised

  • Storm water and waste water could be better utilised
  • Recycling and reuse of water should be looked at

Table 5: Hamilton meeting

Central government direction

  • Councils need consistency in guidelines and approach. If there is no consistency you are repeating yourself time and time again
  • Need for consistency in methodologies for determining standards
  • There has been no overview of catchment management. Decisions need to be made based on understanding of needs of particular catchments rather than 'one size fits all' approach
  • There is a need to identify priorities from the beginning. Some things are too important to compromise on
  • Highly opposed to central government taking control of local government, the Resource Management Act and resource consents
  • The range of tools proposed has the capacity to address fundamental issues. In particular a national policy statement to identify important values and ways in which to identify and provide for these
  • There needs to be a national vision for New Zealand in the future to provide a framework for decisions and planning at the local level (both top-down and bottom-up)
  • National direction should focus on finding practical solutions and undertaking the research needed to find these
  • Supportive of consistent methodology at national level but implementation must be at the regional level
  • Opposed to central government control. There should be a national policy statement for a broad overview, but local values should be able to be imposed above this
  • One size will not fit all; unique regional values must be recognised

Central government involved

  • Disparity between scientific knowledge and the way it is applied within councils
  • Need research to understand systems. Wetlands have not been managed since the introduction of the Resource Management Act. Not enough emphasis given to wetlands in the discussion document
  • There is a role for central government in supporting long-term research to get better systems about how systems work. It is important to have good long-term data to understand what is happening. Central and local government have roles in ensuring this
  • Concern about time frame to get actions implemented
  • Need to provide more guidance on best practice, backed by research to come up with good solutions
  • Need to look at where the cost of cleaning up important assets should lie
  • Broader dissemination of best practice is required. Not only to the industrial and farmers sectors but also to the sectors that support these; for example, financial sector
  • There needs to be national guidelines to prevent more to the sort of problems that are emerging at Rotorua through unsustainable land management
  • Need to have links into the long term council community planning process
  • Develop whole of government positions is supported by most but some want to hear views of different parts of government, rather than just the most powerful voice
  • A best practice approach is important. There are no best practice standards for water
  • Potential for central government to be involved in consultation as stakeholders rather than having a role in running processes and making decisions
  • Central government to provide vision but local implementation must occur
  • Research and monitoring and access to data collection is important
  • Costs involved in planning must be recognised

Provide more tools

  • Not enough emphasis given to nitrate discharges. A lack of nitrogen budgets on farms results in wastage of nitrogen which is applied when it is not needed
  • Concern about corporatisation of water and the extension of property rights tied to water. These steps have already been taken with foreshore and seabed and aquaculture. This runs counter to proposals in the document for more consultation and involvement with communities
  • Discharges are not looked at broadly enough, especially from activities other than dairy farming. Need to look at urban and industrial discharges and runoff from cities
  • Councils need to be able to control unsustainable land use
  • Can a similar system to fishing quotas be applied to water allocation?
  • Water rights for community uses have gone by the time the commercial and industrial users have taken what they want
  • Not enough emphasis on diffuse discharges
  • Māori concern about direction of foreshore and seabed and the Resource Management Act review, and the potential for corporatisation of resources and property rights

Working together

  • Need to resource people to become involved in consultation
  • Messages often don't reach farmers and land users. The same information must be delivered to all key industry groups
  • Concern about the focus of the Resource Management Act review proposals on limiting Māori participation to iwi. Māori agencies are under resourced to participate. Need to look at the mauri of waterways and ecosystems
  • There is a danger in trying to achieve a consensus. Diversity will not be heard
  • Need to ensure that people form organisations have mandate from organisations. Accountability of all organisations involved is important
  • The consultation process is not effective. Stakeholders must be encouraged to participate in the consultation process. It can be costly for interested parties and many do not have the resources to participate

Additional issues raised

  • Urban issues are not included
  • Concern about the land and water interface and land use control. This is an urban issue as well as a rural issue

Table 6: Rotorua meeting

Central government direction

  • Government should be able to identify priorities but not override Resource Management Act decision-making process
  • Local government has the skills and experience to deal with local issues. There is a need for standards from central government, but not heavy involvement
  • Any attempt to set uniform standards throughout the country would need to be treated cautiously because of different environments around the country
  • The document is patronising. Communities are finding solutions and don't want government telling them how to do it. Government should only get involved where this isn't happening
  • Have national standards/guidelines, backed by funding to allow local decision-making
  • There is a problem of too many laws - over regulation and re-regulation. There is a need for simplification
  • Central government should provide leadership, strategic direction, facilitation, catalyst

Central government involved

  • Concern about government departments (for example, the Department of Conservation) making submissions dictating the way people should be doing things
  • There is a role for central government in funding science and research. This is important if water quality issues are to be dealt with. Currently the bulk of lake research is funded by the Bay of Plenty region. Research concerns include basic things like an inventory of the current situation
  • There are questions about whether whole of government submissions are possible and if so, whether this circumvents the planning process
  • Central government has abdicated the process to local government
  • Local government has the skills and experience to deal with local issues
  • There is a need for standards from central government, but not heavy involvement.
  • The current competitive model for science funding prevents good communication
  • Central government has a responsibility for Lake Rotorua because it was a government town and adequate sewerage disposal was not provided until 1980
  • Set up a 'Sustainable Freshwater Fund' similar to the Sustainable Farming Fund
  • Solutions need to be based on knowledge, information and research rather than knee-jerk reactions
  • Water quality and quantity problems need systems. There is a need to pool the resources of several Crown Research Institutes - individually they will not be able to solve problems
  • Central government has a role to provide information to enable people to make their own decisions
  • There is a need to encourage and support individual innovation
  • Have national standards/guidelines, backed by funding to allow local decision-making
  • There needs to be a process for 'inter-regional' funding. Where one region benefits, another shouldn't have to bear costs (for example, Waikato River - Auckland)
  • Where things are not being done at the local level, there is a need for central government to play a role - possibly in the form of funding or auditing
  • Central government could have a role in facilitating local communities to find solutions; making sure rules are applied consistently in different areas and sharing information/best practice

Provide more tools

  • The polluter should pay for clean-up but there is no mention of this in the document. There needs to be incentives so that people who use water have to pay for their impacts on water quality
  • Water efficiency is an important issue. There is no mention of demand and domestic use. What about grey water and water collection systems?
  • Consider a zone approach - divide New Zealand into five zones?

Working together

  • Objectives need to be set together but then land-users should be able to decide for themselves the best way to achieve the objectives
  • Central government needs to learn to engage with small business (for example, farmers/landowners). Land-owners don't have the resources to deal with submissions, communities should be resourced so that there is a balance
  • Māori want real participation and consultation, participation with local government and the community and support the Rotorua lakes process
  • Local government has the skills and experience to deal with local issues. There is a need for standards from central government, but not heavy involvement
  • The current competitive model for science funding prevents good communication
  • Set up a Sustainable Freshwater Fund similar to the Sustainable Farming Fund
  • There is a need for urban dwellers to understand reasons for pressure and the impact that economic drivers and urban lifestyles have
  • Solutions need to be based on knowledge, information and research rather than knee-jerk reactions
  • Water quality and quantity problems need systems. There is a need to pool the resources of several Crown research institutes - individually they will not be able to solve problems
  • There is a need to provide greater opportunity for local communities to contribute to government policy-making
  • People need to be given adequate time for consultation and be treated with respect
  • How can we speed up improving management of the issues?
  • The effect of pine plantations on water supply for irrigation is a concern. Something should be done about forestry and water quality. More information is needed on this issue. Some information has already been collected on the effects of pine plantations, and this information should be made available

Additional issues raised

  • Concern from farmers about nutrients been seen exclusively as pollutants; there is also a need to look at the benefits of nutrients
  • There needs to be an urban focus as well as rural in looking at water quality
  • Taupo Lakes Action Group: the Taupo process is not working, the Rotorua process is much better and much more inclusive

Table 7: Gisborne meeting

Central government direction

  • Why set procedures at the regional level for national environmental standards - couldn't you have just a base-line standard for all regions?
  • Could you give an example of a procedure in a standard?
  • Setting a national environmental standard could be complicated. There could be cross-boundary issues for water bodies in more than one catchment. It could take a long time to develop this. Many values would have to be taken into account
  • What were the key drivers that produced the document? What relevance does the document have to the Gisborne region?
  • Action 3: Are there any rivers in the Gisborne District which have been identified as nationally important?

Central government involved

  • Could look at putting in infrastructure for storage such as dams
  • Concerned that the proposals would be dumped in the region with little guidance; for example, water bodies of national importance
  • What would whole of government submissions mean? Perhaps government departments would get together and have a common voice
  • Are the costs involved in implementing the programme going to be addressed? Some councils do not have the resources to carry out all or some of the proposals. The proposals will need sufficient funding and a recognition of the capabilities of the regions to be able to do this. Past history has shown that resources have not been given to small, less well-off regions
  • Perhaps we should be looking at changing the rating system - but we might not have the rating base to draw from

Provide more tools

  • The wealth in Gisborne comes from the rural area. Water is vital to the income of the area. Gisborne is a major area where the community relies on the rural sector. Development in rural areas isn't taking the future into consideration. The 35-year consent term is too long - and once it's granted it can't be reversed. Allocation is going to be a problem. Where will the water come from if the town doubles in size?
  • Will there be problems if you change from first in first served? What about equity issues and the rights of current users?
  • Is the effects-based purpose of the Resource Management Act behind some of the ideas?
  • 35-year consent terms should be shortened to 5 years with review
  • A 35-year consent term might not be too long. The problem is that we are inefficiently using the water. We waste water. We need to be more efficiently using the water
  • How much does a 35-year consent cost? Administration costs are charged by the council only. The council does require a water metre to determine how much is being used
  • Meters and charging for water could be an option so that the water goes to the highest value use
  • There should be an incentive for people to take water from the most available resource - you could get so many credits for fewer impacts to a particular water body
  • Where the discussion document says 'consents could be required for instream uses' - page 20 Action 6. It would be interesting to see how section 5 would be interpreted and which uses/values would take precedence
  • Water metering is a good idea. All regional councils should require water meters. Councils need to know how much water is available for planning

Working together

 

Additional issues raised

 

Table 8: Napier meeting

Central government direction

  • Condition of the Tuki Tuki river and closing of the Clyde river because of bad water quality needs to be considered. What is going on in the rest of the country to clean up water quality; for example, Lake Taupo. We need to have a vision for the future for 20 years time. What action is being taken to clean up these rivers? We're not moving forward
  • At the moment there are clear lines of responsibility in the Hawkes Bay region. There is concern about central government getting involved. More central government involvement could blur lines of responsibility. If the regional council is doing a good job central government should not interfere
  • A standard could cut down on court costs. Why haven't we got a water quality standard for across the country? A national standard could get rid of debate over methods for setting minimum flows
  • The Government needs to be commended for tackling the issues and bringing them to debate. Allocation and quality issues are relevant to all parts of the country. This is an opportune moment to determine how well we are managing our water resources. In particular water quality, where we need to address this issue. There is a need for a reality check on where we are and the challenges and questions of where this document is going. Will be letting government know about this. Members of the public need to ask themselves how well they value freshwater. There is a danger that the issues will be over-politicised
  • The Resource Management Act was passed in 1991. The Ministry for the Environment has a role to assist councils. What is beyond consultation for this programme? Councils have been waiting for 13 years for a national policy statement. There is a need for some clear goals and guidance for local government. Does the government have a political mandate to go beyond consultation?
  • There is a need for feedback on a national policy statement and national environmental standard and the roles of central and regional government

Central government involved

  • There are problems with untreated sewage going straight into lakes and rivers. There's a need to look at water bodies in the region. Some progress has been made on cleaning up these waterways
  • At the moment there are clear lines of responsibility in the Hawkes Bay region. There is concern about central government getting involved. More central government involvement could blur lines of responsibility. If the regional council is doing a good job central government should not interfere
  • The Resource Management Act was passed in 1991. The Ministry for the Environment has a role to assist councils. What is beyond consultation for this Programme? Councils have been waiting for 13 years for a national policy statement. There is a need for some clear goals and guidance for local government. Does the government have a political mandate to go beyond consultation?
  • Consideration needs to be given to where central government and regional government is best placed to act
  • There is no reference to storage in the document.
  • Options for storage have been looked in the region. Some studies have been undertaken at the regional level and the smaller on-farm level
  • 1960s government gave concession to industry when resources were getting scarce. We could look at using subsidies. Government assistance could apply to some aspects of water efficiency
  • There is a fine balance between support and interference. Central government needs to be aware of the good work that is going on around the country

Provide more tools

  • It is going to be difficult to sort out competing uses. Big business might have more resources to push their values over other values
  • Can look at radio frequency spectrum as a model for auctioning, to manage competing resources
  • Reluctant to accept a monetary value being attached to water. As soon as you put monetary value on water the highest bidder will win. There is a risk that if business goes through tough times, the water right might have to be auctioned off. Water rights should be attached to land
  • Page 20 implies that there is scope for taking over certainty for water availability. When making investment decisions certainty is needed. It seems that there is scope to undermine certainty. How do you manage water but provide for certainty of investment in longer term industry?
  • Water conservation practices are not something that the New Zealand public has a fondness for. Water conservation needs to be promoted. Now is the time for issue to be addressed. New Zealand has one of the highest water uses per capita in the world.
  • The Government needs to be commended for tackling the issues and bringing them to debate. Allocation and quality issues are relevant to all parts of the country. This is an opportune moment to determine how well we are managing our water resources. In particular water quality, where we need to address this issue. There is a need for a reality check on where we are and the challenges and questions of where this document is going. Will be letting government know about this. Members of the public need to ask themselves how well they value freshwater. There is a danger that the issues will be over-politicised
  • Water allocation issues are about balance. Each region has to make its own decisions about different values and interests; for example, energy, tourism, recreation. A balanced approach is taken in the Hawkes Bay region. The local community should determine a balance at the regional level. The regions can make their own tradeoffs
  • What is the difference between owning river water and rain water used by the forestry sector?
  • We need to look at the broader picture. There's a possibility of a bigger population. The Minister of Immigration should be involved. Water harvesting and water retention options should be looked at. There should be better recycling systems in urban areas. Wise water use is important. Broad thinking is important.
  • Water allocation is the easier of the issues to deal with. Water quality is the hard issue to deal with. Councils choosing not to use the Resource Management Act tools. Need ideas about solutions for resolving diffuse discharges
  • Action 11 - allocating to priority uses, is a bold action. It seems unreasonable to ask regional councils to back winners. Action 11 is not a good idea

Working together

  • Water conservation practices are not something that the New Zealand public has a fondness for. Water conservation needs to be promoted. Now is the time for issue to be addressed. New Zealand has one of the highest water uses per capita in the world
  • Regional and local government puts a lot of resources into education. Could government give financial assistance for some programmes to save reinventing the wheel? A national level of environmental education is needed. More effort is required in secondary schools on educating students on environmental issues
  • It is easy to tackle the easy things, and is easy to target water users. There needs to be a balanced approach - education for urban and rural users
  • 0800 Smokey campaign is a good example of a successful education and awareness campaign

Additional issues raised

  • Is the Ministry of Health involved in the Sustainable Development Water Programme of Action?
  • What about the urban water quality? The presentation gave the impression that urban issues will not be considered because it is too hard
  • There appears to be little interaction with long term community plans
  • The cumulative effects need to be addressed. These are what create bigger problems
  • Is the rainfall in New Zealand being distributed differently now from 20 years ago?
  • We have to improve our water quality and cannot afford to fail

Table 9: Taupo meeting

Central government direction

  • Why has this group come to Taupo at this time? You haven't even got to base one. The Resource Management Act was passed in 1991 and included provisions for national policy statements and national conservation orders. Why has it taken till now to get you people here? State-owned enterprises have had 10 years to renegotiate water rights. Has this process been held off till renegotiations take place?
  • Why does the government feel the need to get involved at this stage? Is the government not happy with the job that regional councils are doing?
  • A problem of the Resource Management Act is that it focuses on remedying and mitigating effects and is unable to get to the actual problem
  • Effects may not be felt for many years - for longer than the Resource Management Act 10-year time frames; for example, time for effects of nutrients to become apparent in Lake Taupo.
  • Strong inconsistencies in water management exist between regions
  • Waters of National Importance reports, especially the recreation and tourism reports are nonsensical. There is no standard process for comparing/weighting different values - this could be done by focus group rather than a numerical approach
  • There are inconsistencies in the way regions deal with hydro-power generation issues across the country; for example, Southland has strict controls while Waikato doesn't
  • Start with having a national policy statement to provide guidance
  • If the government is serious about national standards and national values, then this needs to be accompanied by funding for implementation
  • There is a lack of consistency by councils in administering the Resource Management Act. National standards would help
  • Concern that national standards/policies might not fit the local environment
  • Decision-making should take place on a catchment-by-catchment approach, tailored to each individual catchment
  • There is the problem of potential conflict between local and national values. With local decision-making, would any local community be prepared to give up their valued resource for the 'national good'?
  • Quality and allocation are two distinct issues which shouldn't be thrown together into the same solution, for example, a national policy statement
  • Want overall direction about water quality but local decisions
  • It would be helpful if at the beginning of a process, the government came out and put its cards on the table and identified clearly its view on what issues were of national importance. Any process for doing this would have to address the problem of change of government. It would need to be binding on government and people over time

Central government involved

  • It is naïve to think that it is possible to achieve a 'whole of government' approach because different departments have different mandates
  • If the government is serious about national standards and national values, then this needs to be accompanied by funding for implementation
  • Concern about imposition of funding on the local community in the future
  • Leadership and direction from central government rather than lots more rules. If standards are produced, there needs to be flexibility to reflect resource issues for councils - targets rather than requirements?
  • Would the suggestion about a central government role in approving plans require a new government agency? If there is any existing department, there would need to be a clear separation between regulatory and advocacy roles
  • Security of infrastructure is an issue. There is a need to provide for the needs of the country over time. It is not an issue that can be solely looked at on a catchment basis (for example, Waikato water going to Auckland); maybe there is a need for a growth strategy for the country
  • Security of water quality is a major issue; for example, problems from dairy conversion at Reporoa - water quality issues on the Waikato River
  • What is the starting point for determining base flow for allocation - is it based on existing land use at the time or potential land use? Different land-uses have different effects on this and there needs to be a clear identification of a starting point

Provide more tools

  • Strong inconsistencies in water management exist between regions. There is a lack of tools available
  • The problem with market mechanisms is that large companies will have the advantage over diffuse 'stakeholders'. Non-consumptive users (the community) will be disadvantaged by a lack of resources
  • Market force (competitive power pricing) has had a major impact on lake levels - don't want more. There is a need for national standards for managing hydro resources
  • Auctions/tenders raise concerns about
  • Concern about controls on forest planting
  • 'Out' large multinationals; for example, Monsanto owns rights to a large portion of India's water.
  • There is too much emphasis on the economic uses of water
  • Nutrient trading suggestions try to put environmental issues on an economic footing. This does not treat the issue seriously enough
  • It would be valuable to have a way of comparing values of water
  • Is there a possibility of comparing consents across different regions? For example, two separate hydro-power proposals in different parts of the country.
  • The use of incentives would be a better approach than enforcement; for example, tax relief for sustainable management - water conservation techniques, rainwater tanks. There is a need to be aware of where the issues are coming from. There is a need to look at industrial and agricultural users as well as domestic users in relation to incentives for sustainable management
  • Central government could play a role in assisting development of tools to decide priorities and to help in the decision making about allocation
  • The current mix of decision-making levels is about right. The problem is inaction by central government on tools that are available (national policy statement, national environmental standard, guidelines)
  • Want a set of tools to aid decision-making on allocation
  • There is a problem in Resource Management Act applications of financial mitigation approach by some companies/developers. Incentives for those in opposition to go away prevent the full issues from being heard
  • Anti-pollution incentives? In addition, those who pollute should pay to clean up
  • Concern about controls on forest planting
  • The discussion document is about the use of water but there is no focus on the instream and conservation value of water

Working together

  • In working together, there is a need to make sure Māori are involved. Many Māori believe ownership issues should be resolved before looking at management. The way in which values associated with water are identified needs to be carefully considered - often Māori values are watered down
  • Set up a Māori group with representatives from all hapu to provide advice to councils, because no one councillor can represent all hapu

Additional issues raised

  • There is a need to differentiate between water from different sources; for example, rainwater, river water, groundwater and deal with them differently
  • There is a need to look at national standards for urban stormwater management
  • There is a problem in urban areas of rainwater being diverted by channels and not infiltrating and recharging the water table, as a result it is lowered

Table 10: Palmerston North meeting

Central government direction

  • National environmental standards are important in this area
  • We are behind internationally with regard to national environmental standards
  • Need a national environmental standard so that methodology is consistent, would need lead time to get agreement. At the moment hearings revolve around scientists disagreeing
  • Need consistency between regional councils
  • Small communities are overrun by big cities - they are passing on problems further down stream
  • Need environmental bottom lines
  • Regional plans allow local community to develop local solutions to local problems - central government may not know best
  • Some things still need to be managed regionally but would fit within national guidelines
  • Central government should provide direction on water quality standards

Central government involved

  • Concerned about whole of government submission on resource consents
  • There is a need for baseline research and funding for the programme
  • Need goals and funding for action
  • There has been no encouragement for composting toilets, rain water tanks or using water efficiently. Need to focus on making it easier to develop/implement systems for better use
  • Cost should be shared for river protection
  • How accurate is the amount of water estimation regarding underground water - need a more exact measure of water
  • Need funding from central government
  • Central government should provide more guidance - need money for jobs and research
  • Don't reinvent the wheel especially regarding methodology
  • Information sharing and data sharing should be encouraged
  • Fish and Game need funding because they are managing the water
  • Need best practice guidelines for water allocation - the process should be easy if it is carried out within the guidelines
  • Need government funding for a nationally driven strategy
  • Need support for local government
  • Decision-making skills in local government should be supported by science and research, provision of information, expertise and retention

Provide more tools

  • Need effective tools for measuring water quality. The current tools are not indicating that water quality is declining
  • It would be hard to set water priorities fairly - highlights the issue that you don't know what is there
  • The cost of consents and monitoring should be shared fairly. Currently with the water monitoring change everyone is paying the same even though some people are using less
  • Transfer of water rights is a good thing, but how do you set it up? Rivers would be easier than aquifers. The Resource Management Act would put people off as it is too cumbersome
  • Does owning the water make a difference?
  • Would be better to take water for part of the year - less water for longer time effects ecology
  • A water market would make the value of water higher - this will be reflected down the line, farmers affected by the cost of water
  • Hard to put a dollar value on water; water is important just being there, we don't pay to look at the river
  • There is an advantage in punishing people for doing environmental damage
  • Pricing water would affect processing plants and urban people
  • It is a massive cost to farmers to fence
  • Allocations for stock use need to be secure
  • Concerned about the allocation of underground water
  • 'First in first served' is a concern
  • More stringent rules necessary
  • Be cautious around the issue of tendering
  • How do you value water? Who's value?
  • Should water still be free?
  • Need incentives for energy conservation
  • There is a role for dual water systems
  • Nitrogen credits could be traded - would require nitrogen budgeting
  • Need incentives to change behaviour
  • Need a green label on produce
  • Need equity amongst all water users, both instream and out of stream
  • Metering could be used to manage demand
  • Need equity from a monitoring charge point of view. Don't get a say in the research that is carried out with the money
  • Need certainty for consents
  • Auctioning and tendering would need good infrastructure around it
  • Have a polluter-pays system
  • Length of consents could be shorter
  • Need to increase the value of water
  • Need a water metering system
  • Need separate tanks for toilets
  • Need to limit the amount of fertiliser and time of fertiliser use
  • Should have bidding on environmental values
  • Protect instream values
  • More discussion is required around prioritising and trade-offs for water use

Working together

  • Need education and funding around good land use for water quality
  • How do we change our behaviour?
  • Need to educate those using fertiliser
  • Need local community involvement through revegetation groups, land care groups, wetlands and catchment initiatives - need funding assistance for these.
  • Need education around land use/integration - with good management for water quality
  • Need public education on water demand, sewage disposal and options for efficiency

Additional issues raised

  • Document doesn't address environmental issues
  • There is a role for integrated catchment management

Table 11: New Plymouth meeting

Central government direction

  • Unsure of central government directing local government - based on past experiences
  • No one disagrees with national policy statements
  • National environmental standard for water quality - how would the standard be set? If the standard is met, it should be flexible to have a higher standard
  • Need to set priorities for water use nationally but need to recognise regional differences
  • There is an issue with narrative versus quantitative standards for water quality
  • Define the national interest in water

Central government involved

  • Is local government equipped to deal with sustainability?
  • Concern that all government departments make one submission on regional plans
  • Storage of water - be good to save it rather than lose to sea. Would be interesting to address this issue
  • There is a huge problem with getting a whole of government position when statute government departments have different focuses under law
  • There should be shared responsibility and information for environmental management, for example, Occupational Health and Safety versus regional council
  • Need to provide storage to lessen the in stream out stream effects on streams/rivers
  • Get more practitioners in the Ministry for the Environment and in local government
  • Riparian planting should be encouraged and subsidised
  • Invest in good science

Provide more tools

  • Are there road blocks to using Resource Management Act tools?
  • Questions around ownership are an issue
  • Transfer of consents is a good place to start
  • Need higher protection of use of water by local government
  • Concern that water resource will be sold overseas in bulk - sale of water is a very real issue of concern
  • Economic tools aren't the best for community values
  • Will transfer permits just be money and not solve problems?
  • What will central government add? Taranaki has locally sufficient tools
  • Councils should promote green guides for water use
  • Tools are available and are now being used by the Ministry for the Environment - well done
  • A standardised measurement is required to judge council performance
  • There should be consequences for water misuse
  • Need incentives to use water more appropriately - make users pay
  • The tools are available now
  • Organic or natural fertiliser consents regimes vary in New Zealand - this is a consultation issue. Cumulative environmental effects are an issue for fertiliser and wastewater. There needs to be standardisation of fertiliser application
  • Should encourage the use of zero discharge policy - use overseas experience
  • Water is chronically undervalued in New Zealand - there is no sensible market to set value
  • There is a need for water metering - this has been highly effective in the United Kingdom, they have combined this with a education campaign as well
  • Low income people may be marginalised if the regime changes too much
  • The method setting minimum flows needs more science - the Ministry for the Environment could play a role in this
  • Mandate allocation frameworks, freshwater plans and a disclosure regime for standardised reporting
  • Mandate planning obligations
  • Need to agree on the value of water - look overseas and draw on their experience
  • Standardise methodology for fertiliser application
  • Need to implement tools under the Resource Management Act properly
  • Review water conservation order provisions - need a more strategic approach
  • Need to be careful with market instruments, i.e. make sure that the market doesn't support negative behaviour

Working together

  • Education is important
  • Collaborative approach is okay but will it be all talk and government doesn't take notice?
  • Need to be proactive about the values of water - through education
  • Need education and incentives; that is, use environmental programs in schools and in the wider community
  • Need to improve communications and consultation with stakeholders
  • Need proper interaction between agencies - an integrated management approach

Additional issues raised

  • Greater focus on town supply needed
  • Document does not address matters of conservation and efficiency of use
  • Building Act does not allow water use efficiency (there is no ability to have bylaws to address some)
  • Why has the document focused on sustainable development rather than sustainable management?
  • Biodiversity values are understated and need to be recognised more so

Table 12: Masterton meeting

Central government direction

  • National involvement is fine in terms of setting standards, but there shouldn't be interfering with local decision-making
  • New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement review shows that it hasn't been well-implemented, would not want to see this repeated with a freshwater national policy statement
  • Concern that this is all about central government trying to take ownership/control of water to generate revenue for central and/or local government
  • Minimum standards should be required rather than looking at tools like trading
  • Balances between values need to be found at the local level
  • Minimum standards and 'bottom lines' send a message to potential polluters that they may take the water quality right down to the lowest standard. Instead it should be about percentage change
  • Minimum standards and 'bottom lines' send a message to potential polluters that they may take the water quality right down to the lowest standard. Instead it should be about percentage change.
  • Central government has a role in setting parameters, standards and framework. Or can local communities do this?
  • Any system for identifying nationally important values needs to be transparent and collaborative
  • A 'national values' approach is a way of overriding local views and decisions. Local rights should not be overridden by the 'national interest'.
  • 'National interest' can be looked at in two ways - issue-based (for example, water quality) or value-based (for example, Waters of National Importance). There could be considerable debate over which approach to take

Central government involved

  • Whole of government submissions are a good idea. It might be hard to achieve but it would be worth trying
  • Support for an approach which supports local government as well as central government having responsibilities for water management
  • Implementation/operationalisation of sustainable development/integrated water resource development is a real issue
  • Funding support is important
  • Central government should provide the assistance and guidance but local decision-making is important to allow regional councils to develop best practice that can be picked up elsewhere
  • Central government needs to get involved in storage
  • In terms of structural arrangements look at the past model and what did and didn't work. The benefit of that model was that it provided good communication between agencies
  • Results of research need to be made freely available to everyone. There is a need for databases of basis information; for example, how much water different towns use

Provide more tools

  • Allocation of groundwater as a resource, especially as a commercial resource, needs clarity and certainty for investors. Suggestion of a system similar to fishing quotas, the amount you can take each season based on the availability of the resource. In the fishing industry, quotas go to those with the lowest overhead costs/ unit of resource for increased efficiency
  • Regional councils want to get rid of discharges, not trade them
  • Concern about corporatisation of resources with tradable rights
  • Common expiry rights on consents are not mentioned in the document
  • Regional councils have not utilised their existing tools/rights. So why should they be given more?
  • It is possible to put a monetary value of all the different uses and values of water; the question is how you do it
  • The issue is not ownership of water but ownership of access to water
  • Water meters and charging for water may result in greater efficiency
  • There is a need to look at the costs involved as investments. Look at the long-term benefits and sustainable development. The document does not place enough emphasis on these
  • There is a need to be diligent with existing laws and regulations rather than developing new tools
  • The Resource Management Act stands in the way of making use of opportunities through the costs involved in making applications and the uncertainty of outcome
  • Not everyone can afford to pay for access to water
  • There is no need for trading as regulation can achieve everything you need. Should we be adapting natural cycles to farming needs or adapting farming to natural cycles?

Working together

  • There is a need for good communication between different government agencies
  • The Lake Taupo project can be used as a good model for finding solutions - gather knowledge to find solutions and then apply this knowledge elsewhere
  • There is a need to future-proof the situation by forecasting future demands so you can be proactive. This should be done by working together; for example, information exchange between government and farming sectors
  • There needs to be a lot of work done to conserve water during peak periods; more community education is required at local and national levels

Additional issues raised

  • There is a need to deal with all catchment interactions that affect both water quality and quantity. This inter-relation isn't adequately identified in the document or recognised in the community - solutions need to focus on integrated catchment management. Communities need to make decisions based on integrated catchment management

Table 13: Wellington meeting

Central government direction

  • Will the final plan cover the whole of New Zealand? The regions are diverse, there needs to be more simplification
  • How can someone decide in Wellington what is best for people in Central Otago and Fiordland?
  • National concerns need to be addressed; regions must work together to address national issues; the discussion document raises issues but does not talk about the 'how'
  • Sustainability is not defined in the document
  • The document is a collection of methods but does not contain goals; it is looking at methods in a vacuum
  • The Resource Management Act is pretty good; the problem is implementation
  • There is a lack of aims, goals, objectives, targets and time frames
  • The Resource Management Act provides the framework but problems occur at the local level
  • Problems exist and the document does not address them; Growing for good and this document do not connect
  • Sort out allocation at a local level
  • Nationally important values are not yet identified
  • A fundamental misunderstanding about national importance is that it is environmental not economic

Central government involved

  •  

Provide more tools

  • Property rights or the potential loss of property rights is not included in the document
  • There is a lack of recognition of existing rights in the document
  • 'Clawback' already exists under the Resource Management Act
  • There is a lack of analysis in the background documents about water trading and discharge permits
  • Concern about the commercialisation of water
  • Allocation is not just about commercial use, it is much broader and all uses need to be taken into account
  • Deciding which use of water is more important is impossible, each project must be considered on its merits

Working together

  • Have regional councils had input into this process, have they asked for help, are we adding more layers of bureaucracy?

Additional issues raised

  • The biodiversity strategy should be included
  • What about geothermal water and wetlands?
  • There is not enough emphasis on forestry
  • The proposals are not conservation-based but will make it easier for industry
  • Why do we need high quality water for washing cars? Urban wastage is huge

Table 14: Blenheim meeting

Central government direction

  • The community's rights to do things as they want should not be taken away. But there is some place for overarching principles on what is more important to the nation e.g. energy or irrigation in Canterbury. We want public participation in developing these tools. The air quality national environmental standard is not a good example. The same problems could happen in the water quality area. A well accepted methodology for water allocation would be helpful for application across the country
  • The opportunity exists for a framework for a national policy to be put in place. Does the review of the Resource Management Act provide for this?
  • How can I protect my bit of water against all other interests and bad water quality? We are behind the world health guidelines. Maintaining water quality is important. What is going on to protect the health of drinking water? Government has a lot of catching up to do
  • There will be huge challenges to get government departments involved. Developing water standards will have huge financial implications. Is the Ministry of Health involved in the Programme? The costs of getting the key players around the table should be considered. There is a huge commitment of time and resources needed - especially around the area of land-use impacts on water quality as raised in the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's recent report on the subject
  • How do you weigh up the priorities for water at national and regional levels? Social, economic, environment and cultural factors - how are these weighed up?
  • Custodian of small rural water supply. Being asked to conform to minimum quality standards will be difficult. It is difficult to see how rural communities can meet standards. There is no basic tool for small community groups so set a minimum quantity of water, to determine pipe sizes etc. Engineering expertise is too expensive
  • There is a need to protect instream values and to use water efficiently. Where do national policies fit to ensuring that these issues are addressed?
  • If we are looking at long term sustainability, we need to look at government custodianship which can withstand political changes. There needs to be continual responsibility for maintaining building blocks for sustainable management. Keeping sustainability sustainable

Central government involved

  • We don't know how much water is sitting in the aquifers. We don't know how much is going in and how much is going out. The cost of doing research is expensive, but the cost of not doing it is even more expensive. Who is going to pay for the research that is needed? Will central government pay for good information?
  • The council has spent a lot of money on water research, but we still don't have all the information we need to manage the resource. Groundwater knowledge is lacking. Funding for research is an issue
  • There is a suspicion of research undertaken with commercial backing rather than research that is undertaken with government funds
  • The rivers in Marlborough are short at certain times of the year. This could be overcome by investing in storage. Private trial work has been undertaken on enhancing wetlands for improving river flows. The Government could find ways of storing water in upper catchments, at lower cost. Wetlands can provide nesting grounds for bird life and can moderate flood flows. There would be benefits for the whole catchment if we looked at using the benefits of gravity feed in and lower cost dams
  • There needs to be a long-term vision and a determination of how much water will be set aside. Planning for water resources needs to be strategic
  • Regional plans take a long time to be developed and implemented, and aren't given any status and power to be effective
  • Central government is good at abdicating responsibilities to local government. Will this programme end up costing ratepayers?
  • What research into the regimes developed and adopted by other countries has been undertaken? Some lessons must have been learnt?
  • There are significant differences between New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand has a lot of water running to sea. We need to look at storing water
  • Everyone wants water and some have water but are not using it all. There is a lot of water being wasted. Money is spent on lawyers fighting court cases, but money is not invested in building dams. Storage should be looked at and efficiency of use
  • Standards and research - central government has a role in undertaking research. Poorer councils need assistance with information. Central government has a role in sharing good practice and new information
  • There is some middle ground for central government to get involved or to facilitate the investigation of storage options to ensure that enough water is available. There potential for the government to get a good return if they choose to become involved
  • Sustainable farming fund money has been used for various schemes in the region. The Government's role of stepping back in has been important
  • We want to run our own province but with government funding. Every province has its own problems and can deal with them in their own way
  • AgResearch undertakes research into the relationship between drought and production at genetic level rather than an application level. More basic research into these areas would provide more options about which crops to grow. This would enable better choices to be made over agricultural and horticultural production
  • Quite a lot of research has already been undertaken and future research is to be done. There is Foundation for Science, Research and Technology funding for some research
  • Central government needs to take a lead role in funding research

Provide more tools

  • What other options are there for allocating water? What restrictions will be put in place for trading of water rights? There needs to be some restrictions to protect the interests of small players. Need to be wary of commercial interests taken over the available water
  • Greater values can miss out under first in first served. Good land-use areas could miss out on having water for production because the water is already allocated
  • The Resource Management Act allocation process is adversarial. In court cases, large companies are able to force objectors out by using expensive consultants and lawyers. Smaller objectors are sometimes seen as frivolous. Smaller objectors cannot have access to water when a resource is fully allocated. Smaller players may not be able to renew their water rights
  • Water is fundamental to farmers. Water users must have security of supply. Don't tinker with something if it isn't broken. Investments have been made in infrastructure and these should be recognized
  • New Zealand is getting overrun with one type of farming. Vegetable growing is commanding all of the water at the moment. How will the priorities be set for water? There should be some restrictions on high value users getting the best take. There should be some mechanism to share out what is available
  • Overseas markets require standards of hygiene. What effect will these requirements have on water availability? We need water to meet these requirements. Have a look at Cawthorne report on Spring Creek
  • Water flowing out to sea is seen as wastage, but this view ignores the ecology of the river and the need for minimum flows. Interference with the flow of a braided river will create problems down stream, for example declining bird populations. Other values, in addition to economic values, can be lost
  • The issues in the document are divided into those that require ecological values to be looked after and those that look after allocation. Ecological values are a given. Freshwater is needed to sustain ecological values. Names of rivers are synonymous with water. Prioritisation is another word for privatisation of water and would mean moving towards the Individual Transferable Quota fisheries regime. In this system, users benefit more than iwi. In this region iwi are currently not large water users. There needs to be a mechanism in place to incorporate this issue. The aquaculture framework is an example of how this could be done
  • Efficiency of use is an issue. There should be restrictions to make sure people do not develop an inefficient system. We need to learn from our mistakes
  • Who has the courage to say no? What about finding alternative approaches?
  • Are successful clawback strategies occurring around the country? What are the legal implications of this? This is a future source of information that could be circulated
  • Quite a lot of research has already been undertaken and future research is to be done. There is Foundation for Science, Research and Technology funding for some research
  • Storage through gravity is supported and should be investigated. Water farming should also be investigated

Working together

  • How do you propose to get iwi involved? There are no resources to sit alongside iwi. Iwi tend to get legislated against when they make noises, for example, the foreshore and seabed situation
  • There is a suspicion of research undertaken with commercial backing rather than research that is undertaken with government funds
  • New Zealand has a long history of development. Landowners are now able to build a sustainable aspect into their management. They have been made to become more aware of the environment. Council has expectations that this will occur
  • The Resource Management Act has not been a good Act for iwi in the top of the South Island. The councils have not exercised powers for involving Māori. Central government needs to look at these issues
  • There needs to be an ability for iwi to become involved in managing resources. It is very hard for non-resource users to become involved, and for iwi where settlements have not taken place
  • AgResearch undertakes research into the relationship between drought and production at genetic level rather than an application level. More basic research into these areas would provide more options about which crops to grow. This would enable better choices to be made over agricultural and horticultural production

Additional issues raised

  • There is growing evidence of the effects of climate change on water availability. How is this being factored into the programme? There is a need for a precautionary buffer in an allocation system
  • Should flood protection be incorporated into the programme?

Table 15: Nelson meeting

Central government direction

  • How involved does central government want to be at the local level? Central government has a role but people are cautious about central government getting into the nuts and bolts of local issues. Central government could add another layer of bureaucracy and councils and rate payers will have to pay for it. Central government has a role in providing support for augmentation projects and other capital projects. Central government could fund more research into options that are working and systems that are not working so well
  • Urban streams in this area are used as drains rather than streams. There is nothing in the discussion document about protecting the natural heritage values or the life-supporting capacity of water bodies in the discussion document
  • What is the national interest - this has not been articulated
  • How will the national interest be arrived at? How would any organization be able to assess what is best in the national interest?
  • Our water quality should be improved. How are we going to improve it, by whom and when? Action on this issue needs to be nationally coordinated by central government. Good water quality has to be for all of New Zealand and not just the rural sector. There has to be an holistic approach and by catchment. Will central government follow through with support for the implementation of standards and regulations? Different interpretations of national instruments around the country could result in legal challenges
  • The programme should be nationally led and funded. This would allow people across all of New Zealand to pay for it, and not just ratepayers. Too many policies have been left with local government to fund. Guidance is also needed
  • There is a limited amount of water available in Tasman. Central government should take a role in providing for growth and water
  • But growth should only be committed to where resources are available. Some areas should not be developed
  • Where are plans going with the water bodies of national importance projects? Are the Water Conservation Order provisions likely to be reviewed? Identifying water bodies of national importance is a subjective thing to do. Small streams could be missed from the lists
  • There are 21 water bodies identified as important for recreation and irrigation - where does that leave us?
  • The effect of pine plantations on water supply for irrigation is a concern. Something should be done about forestry and water quality. More information is needed on this issue. Some information has already been collected on the effects of pine plantations, and this information should be made available
  • Disappointed that there are no clear goals and timelines in the discussion document. There is a need for solutions which do not rely on tradeoffs. All the values of sustainable development (social, economic, environmental and cultural) need to be enhanced
  • Micro solutions are needed as well as macro solutions. Solutions should come from councils at the resource consent level
  • National guidelines would have been helpful when the RMA came into effect. This would have saved a lot of problems with implementation of the Act. A national policy statement and national environmental standard would reduce confusion

Central government involved

  • Triple bottom line accounting is important. The Ministry for the Environment's sustainable industry group and triple bottom line reporting need more funding
  • What is the bureaucracy needed for the programme? Will increased resources be needed to implement the programme? Are there any models from overseas that might work in New Zealand; for example, which demonstrate the interaction between central and local government? Will there be a national body such as the Environment Protection Agency model?
  • Central government is passing the obligations without the money for implementation
  • We are working with a lack of knowledge on the impacts and the amount of the resource available
  • It is the Department of Conservation's job to protect waterways. Why are anglers paying for water conservation orders? The water belongs to all New Zealanders. Use should be controlled so other interests are not hindered. Some regional water plans are toothless. Plans often sound good but there is not enough action taken. There is no enforcement for non-compliance with consents. Councils should decide what the best use of the water is
  • Central government gives a subsidy to treat sewage, but Invercargill does not qualify for the subsidy because it is a city
  • Central government needs to fund monitoring of environment impacts. Consents must be monitored. Under a trading system you could lose the ability to monitor environmental impacts. Monitoring is a key part of the process. I can facilitate providing a reasonable environmental outcome while still maintaining a reasonable level of use
  • Irrigation technology is poorly developed. Many users are not aware of how to be more efficient
  • How much money is behind the committee? Will there be funding for storage facilities? Central government should provide some funding for storage
  • Storage is happening at an on-farm basis, especially in Canterbury. Water can evaporate before it reaches a storage facility
  • Central government support would speed the pace for further development of storage
  • Government is good at coming up with plans but it needs to subsidise farmers to develop dams so that the whole country benefits from their production
  • Nutrification problems began 40 years ago. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment mentioned in the land-use impacts on water quality report that there is a lack of soil science. We are losing the input of vital ideas and knowledge. Funding of soil science is contestable. There is a need for different kinds of expertise and knowledge across all of the sectors

Provide more tools

  • There are already tools in place to protect water bodies and to manage quantity and quality issues, but some water bodies are over allocated. The tools are clearly not working. There should be more of an ecological focus in the programme
  • Is this a devious process for introducing a permit system for application of fertilisers based on nitrogen content? If this system starts in the Waikato region then it could become widespread in other parts of the country. Don't want a system introduced for permits under the Resource Management Act for fertiliser application. Local government should maintain their role for plans and consents at the local level.
  • The effect of the global market could result in privatisation of water. A sock take of our water resources could be the start of a process to privatise water. Valuation of water resources and Government involvement in world trade negotiations. Could commit trans-national companies to operate under conditions which might override central government regulation. Is central government working towards a market model for water? We want to have democratic control of water through local or central government. If water is owned by trans-national companies they might not have to comply with our domestic regulations such as the Resource Management Act. Water must remain in public ownership
  • We need to improve the management of water. One option is to call in permits and to bring allocation back to sustainable limits, but this would not be supported. People regard their resource consents as a property right
  • Tradability of water permits has to be encouraged within catchments. The water available must be used efficiently and effectively

Working together

  • AGmard funding and Sustainable Farming Fund money has been used for studies on water resources
  • Funding and dissemination of information - people rely on improving water quality through information. Lack of information on improving water quality in terms of the causes of the problem and how it can be cleaned up. Central government needs to put more resources into providing information. The Taupo situation does not apply across the country. There is a need for catchment-specific solutions. Central government should support this. There is a need to look at the impacts from urban and industrial areas as well. Rural run-off is not the only cause of poor water quality
  • Improved information is needed to keep up with the rates of change in water use and water quality. It is difficult to respond to the issues in a timely way. How can we speed up improving management of the issues?
  • The effect of pine plantations on water supply for irrigation is a concern. Something should be done about forestry and water quality. More information is needed on this issue. Some information has already been collected on the effects of pine plantations, and this information should be made available

Additional issues raised

  • What is the scope of the project? Does it include cities, rural areas, urban areas? What about streams flowing through cities, are they included?
  • If Tasman District Council finds nitrogen contamination is too high then it is required to take some action

Table 16: Greymouth meeting

Central government direction

  • A national policy statement might not be applicable to all regions especially the West coast. The economy of the West Coast could be affected because it might not be applicable to the area
  • Regulation in a national policy statement could have adverse effects
  • National direction and central government involvement could be problematic because there are vast differences between the regions. A national policy statement might not be able to address these differences
  • National direction and central government involvement could be problematic because there are vast differences between the regions. A national policy statement might not be able to address these differences
  • Action 3: What criteria are going to be in place to determine what water bodies have a national value? What will make a water body of national value?
  • What is going to happen to the draft lists - what is the current thinking?
  • Who is setting the priorities and at what level will they be set; at the community, regional or national level? Even if the priorities are set at the national level, it becomes difficult for regions and communities to maintain those outcomes. There should be funding for regions and communities to implement national outcomes
  • Would there be tighter controls for the use of water from on a river feeding into a water body of natural importance?
  • The whole catchment should be taken into account as a unit rather than separate water bodies within catchments
  • What is the target for water quality? Do you want to revert to the quality of 1950? There is a need to balance the pressures on the environment and development. If so, is the target realistic? What are the assumptions behind the ideas?

Central government involved

  • Best practice information and dissemination of that information is important. This could mean that a national policy statement is not needed
  • The small rating base of the region means it is often difficult to obtain expert information. Regions with fewer resources will have difficulty implementing national policies. More expertise is needed. Implementation of policies requires thought, time and expertise
  • What information do we have to determine how water quality has declined? Do we have information about the contributing factors?
  • The problems of quality and allocation are not unique to New Zealand. Has the government looked at the lessons learned from other countries?
  • How much is industrial pollution contributing to poor water quality?
  • The regional council has limited funds for state of the environment monitoring. There are also limited funds to disseminate best practice. Central government should provide finance for these issues
  • There is currently not enough monitoring of discharge consents and diffuse impacts for land-use activities. More compliance monitoring and enforcement is needed. The regional council has limited funds and resources to undertake more monitoring so there is a need for more funding for compliance staff and auditing of councils to see whether consent conditions are being complied with
  • How will the national policies impact on rate payers - who will pay?
  • Providing solutions on how to fix problems is important. More monitoring, research and information on best practices would be helpful and more likely to be taken on board rather than enforcement. There needs to be access to effective solutions
  • Funding for implementation needs to be dispersed around the whole country - not just Auckland, or large centres
  • This issue looks similar to the forestry issue, where some areas are being protected for the use and enjoyment of people from other areas
  • Regulatory approaches would require more monitoring and assessment, therefore more costs to councils
  • Dissemination of best practice is one of the most effective ways of getting behaviour change
  • Wetlands should be managed at the local/regional level

Provide more tools

  • What is the toolbox for councils managing land-use changes? What is the thinking behind this?
  • Would government end up requiring wetlands to be protected on private land? This would impact on private property rights

Working together

  • Education has a key role in improving practices
  • Will the education and awareness mentioned in the discussion document involve working with farmers and water users directly?
  • Education might be a better option rather than regulation and market tools
  • Are there site visits to water bodies on land, and is there education about what practices could be implemented to prevent water pollution when resource consents are issued? There is a need to make sure that the information is available when people apply for a resource consent

Additional issues raised

  • Rural and urban water issues should not be separated
  • The transfer of aquatic weeds to water bodies is concerning. Is the Programme going to address this problem? Currently there is no checking of boats entering water bodies
  • A catchment-based approach would be sensible to cater for smaller water bodies
  • There needs to be an integrated catchment management approach to incorporate the lagoons and wetlands
  • Tourism impacts are important too
  • Is the end point outcomes or effects? Could this work be overridden by any changes that come out of the review of the Resource Management Act?
  • How does the Programme address the problem of wetland clearance on private land?
  • The mining sector is learning about the benefits of retaining or creating wetland features

Table 17: Christchurch meeting

Central government direction

  • Environmental standards should be set by the community
  • Most major rivers should be required to meet world health standards
  • Water quality decisions should be made by the community
  • How do you prioritise and identify between different users? What are the criteria? How do you assess local versus national criterion?
  • Water quality decisions should be made by the community
  • National utility value could be set and locals could administer it
  • National policy statements are a good idea
  • Need consistency of definitions of bottom lines
  • The document has no goals, no objectives, no target, no timeframes, no direction and no accountability
  • Devolve research to the most appropriate level, the under taking is at the local level
  • Water bodies of national importance has potential
  • Need a national strategy for prioritisation
  • Identify nationally important waterways
  • Need a national policy statement or national environmental standard for nitrates
  • Central government need to set national priorities
  • Need national goals; that is, all rivers should be swimmable
  • National environmental standard - prescribe the outcomes, give some time to meet, then strict regulation
  • Water bodies of national importance would work if all values are considered and there is some flexibility

Central government involved

  • Downstream users need better technology and the storage options
  • Integrated Research for Aquifer Protection programme should be supported
  • The Ministry for the Environment could facilitate the sharing of best practices
  • More leadership is needed to assist locals in understanding options/issues
  • Could have a department for water resources
  • Need to implement storage proposals
  • There is an inconsistency between catchments - a central body could help provide an overview
  • Don't reinvent the wheel - look overseas
  • The Canterbury Plains issue is just like the Tragedy of Commons in England - poor policy led to negative outcomes
  • There is a fear of bureaucracy - don't want government intervention apart from funding
  • Need research, for example, groundwater, biodiversity - must be independent and transparent
  • Need good information about the resource
  • Need greater accountability of local government representatives and officials
  • Need water storage
  • Central government needs to ensure that there is good reliable research information available - use sustainable form fund model
  • Need to encourage best practice
  • Central government need to take a more active role; that is, need to make regional councils do things, assisting science, dialogue/consultation, collective use, understanding
  • Central government funding - charges direct and indirect beneficiaries. Should not be a subsidy but should recognise that benefits arise to all

Provide more tools

  • Downstream users need better technology and the storage options
  • Integrated Research for Aquifer Protection programme should be supported
  • The Ministry for the Environment could facilitate the sharing of best practices
  • More leadership is needed to assist locals in understanding options/issues
  • Could have a department for water resources
  • Need to implement storage proposals
  • There is an inconsistency between catchments - a central body could help provide an overview
  • Don't reinvent the wheel - look overseas
  • The Canterbury Plains issue is just like the Tragedy of Commons in England - poor policy led to negative outcomes
  • There is a fear of bureaucracy - don't want government intervention apart from funding
  • Need research; for example, groundwater, biodiversity - must be independent and transparent
  • Need good information about the resource
  • Need greater accountability of local government representatives and officials
  • Need water storage
  • Central government needs to ensure that there is good reliable research information available - use sustainable form fund model
  • Need to encourage best practice
  • Central government need to take a more active role; that is, need to make regional councils do things, assisting science, dialogue/consultation, collective use, understanding
  • Central government funding - charges direct and indirect beneficiaries. Should not be a subsidy but should recognise that benefits arise to all

Working together

  • Want a closer relationship between local and central government for many issues including water - need to avoid duplication
  • We don't hear in public about iwi issues and don't have the opportunity to debate
  • Need input from communities about what they want
  • The process needs to be open and well informed about the total system
  • Regional governments need to work together
  • It is hard to get public consensus amongst communities regarding values
  • Central government should actively facilitate processes with local government
  • Integrated land use would help, could put limits on land use; for example, regulation to avoid inappropriate land use
  • Concern that water is wasted through irrigation - technology is improving in this area
  • Water user groups can improve water use efficiency

Additional issues raised

  • Concerned about the impact of dairying on water quality for tree, horticulture and domestic use
  • Want to be able to better use water/grey water for house and property - there needs to be education around reusing and recycling
  • There are urban water issues too
  • Integrated catchment management work is good - need to know this for water allocation
  • No discussion in document about the value of wilderness or landscapes or biodiversity

Table 18: Timaru meeting

Central government direction

  • Central government has shown a lack of leadership
  • One size does not fit all - need to quality fit solutions for the purpose
  • Decision-making should occur locally as they know the issues and understand the impacts
  • Take out Water Conservation Order processes - they are limiting to the national interest/balance
  • Standards will not work - need to look at catchments
  • No national guidance is needed
  • Water bodies of national importance - the values need to be broader - the options are loaded
  • There should be a better balance between national and local needs. Local needs are not as well supported as they should be
  • Need a better plan for water management - it is ad hoc at the moment; this will require help from central government but the local knowledge is in the region.
  • Concern about central government setting the priorities for water bodies of national importance
  • Concerned that the government will override local communities - need good local solutions
  • Central government should stay out, they should provide basic rules only and leave the decisions to the regions
  • National policy statements need to be high level. They should list the factors to be considered at the local level and locals should then determine the balance.
  • Assess the whole resource and what it might be used for - need broad criteria for importance
  • National standard for water quality would be useful

Central government involved

  • Need to identify water storage sites for future of all uses/options. Central government should provide funding for the infrastructure needed. There seems to be a feeling of 'anti-storage' from government
  • Need science based information on water quality and quantity and also on process
  • Regional plans are in place so no other plans are required
  • Lots of effort is going into protection but not enough is going into development. Central government needs to develop a long-term strategic approach
  • Funding would be good to help support and clear Resource Management Act obstacles
  • Guidelines must be flexible
  • Need better law; the current system is not good. It doesn't encourage efficiency of use
  • Concern was raised over the cost of change. Need to keep in mind that changes takes time as well
  • Need help in setting allocation limits
  • Central government should stay out, they should provide basic rules only and leave the decisions to the regions
  • Government departments should work together to develop one view into submissions
  • There are gaps in the current funding system which need to be sorted
  • There needs to be a better profile in government for agriculture
  • The adversarial process in the Resource Management Act needs to be addressed
  • Where central government must get involved they must come with money
  • Compliance costs must be reduced and the systems must be simplified and made more efficient
  • Need funding to cover building infrastructure - communities could then lease it back
  • Need more expertise at the local government level
  • Need to focus on water harvesting and storage

Provide more tools

  • Existing consent holders need certainty and protection
  • There are risks associated with auctioning or tendering - real concern around this concept
  • Allocation of water to highest value use should be market based as much as possible
  • Take out Water Conservation Order processes - they are limiting to the national interest/balance
  • Who will make the decisions on the high and low values of water? How can you compare competing users?
  • Minimum flows do not always protect
  • Must use economics for the balance of allocation for any use
  • Comparison of uses must look at all the costs involved
  • Need to move water to where it is needed
  • First in first served is a good process it protects investment
  • Don't throw the whole system out and start again
  • Don't want tendering and auctioning of water
  • The tools are there they just need to be used properly and enforced
  • Water should be left in the catchments - need to look after own communities first
  • Do not want a charge on water itself - will pay the service cost relating to infrastructure.
  • Need help in setting allocation limits
  • The value of a property sits around the water right
  • Every user should be charged at the same rate
  • Water from treatment plants could be used back up stream for irrigation
  • Solutions must be consistent
  • Should meter and log water use
  • Should look at water and catchment together - take and integrated management approach
  • Need a new consent that allows on farm storage at high flows - needs to be incentives for this
  • Consent duration should be longer than 35 years
  • Tools to understand the values of water are needed - the community should determine these values

Working together

  • Efficiency of use of water needs to be encouraged for all. There needs to be education around this
  • Water schemes need a power company scheme involved as a partner to make them viable
  • Ngai Tahu must be included in the equation
  • We are a multicultural society, we need to understand that and work with it
  • To be successful there needs to be buy-in from the rest of society not just farmers and users
  • Need to bring together science and other experts to reach consensus

Additional issues raised

  • Need a broader perspective on efficiency - not just water, include capital, labour etc
  • Urban issues are important too
  • Cost of electricity generation must be changed to reflect the cost of delivery

Table 19: Dunedin meeting

Central government direction

  • Central versus regional control is a key issue, this is central government taking over, this is a move away from the Resource Management Act, issues are best dealt with at the local scale with local input
  • Huge differences exist in characteristics of regions and in uses of water and community expectations
  • There is a perception that national environmental standards mean government is taking over, the role of local authorities in catchment management should not be diminished by national standards
  • How would central government go about creating national standards?
  • Caution is needed when deciding which type of issues and standards are suitable for a top-down rather than a bottom-up approach
  • Are regional values superior to national values? The general public feeling is that they are not. There needs to be a way of deciding between values before you start to look at how to identify them
  • National importance to whom? There is a fear that national importance may be overridden by economics. There is also concern about the risk associated with identifying water bodies of national importance for particular values - there is a risk of getting it wrong
  • The Otago Regional Council (ORC) water plan shows how important water is here and planning must be done on a regional basis not a national basis
  • Concern over adding further national requirements to existing regional ones
  • There could be a default national direction which would apply where issues had not been addressed locally

Central government involved

  • A major issue missed in the document is the split control for various parts of the catchment. There needs to be a single government department to manage the whole catchment. There is currently a lack of integration in water management
  • There is no problem with the development of a coherent cross-government view in submissions, but it should stop short of government intervention. It should only have the same status as local submissions
  • A functional audit of regional councils should be carried out which compares their Resource Management Act
  • Variation in cost and processing time of basic resource consents exist between councils; there is no consistency. Publicising non-performance is an effective way of dealing with this. Government should be more pro-active in pointing out where performance is an issue and providing guidance to improve performance. Central government involvement should focus on an audit process
  • Issue of non-performance by Environment Canterbury. There are currently no penalties for poor performance; for example, non-compliance with statutory time-frames.
  • Some councils have a problem of inadequate resources, central government could have a role in providing funding where this is an issue
  • Water harvesting - what's going to happen when water is taken from streams instead of building reservoirs? Water harvesting should be a national priority
  • Whose role is water harvesting?
  • Central government - monitoring, but for local issues there is concern about central government control. Central government should have a role at the broader level only
  • Department of Conservation and capital cost are barriers to water harvesting facilities
  • Central government should play a key role in coordination and information. National direction should be about facilitation and support and possibly about water quality standards
  • Concern about affordability for rural communities having to meet drinking water standards when people are happy with less. There needs to be regional rather than national solutions
  • Central and local government have to come together in terms of infrastructure
  • Central government's role is to provide checks and balances rather than making decisions and taking control
  • There needs to be a water management team to visit regional council to check-up and enforce. Councils need to know where they are going and if they are failing, why?
  • There is a problem of insufficient scientific information. Central government could assist in resources for this
  • Is expertise available locally? Expertise in land and water resource management has been lost at all levels of government. Central government needs to lead by example in its land management - should be more integration
  • Department of Conservation has a very narrow focus
  • Department of Conservation is continually appealing against land-use resource consent applications
  • There is a need to disseminate current scientific understanding about water quality to inform debate. Water quality can always be improved, you can always do better. To keep water quality perfect, we need to go back to where we came from, but this is not possible. The vast majority of the population have no idea about the importance of maintaining water quality

Provide more tools

  • The Resource Management Act appears to be an extremely good tool. Issues can be adequately covered in the local region. However, some central government oversight could be added to aid implementation and to provide support to regional councils to improve performance
  • The existing legislation is sufficient if backed up by a functional audit of regional councils, publicity and funding
  • Fence waterways
  • Fonterra has an accord to fence of waterways but it is not a binding agreement. Stock in rivers is a proximate cause of poor water quality; there is a need to look at the ultimate causes. There is a need to change the perception/behaviour of land owners in relation to waterways; for example, in the United Kingdom rivers take priority over agriculture rather than the other way round
  • The notion that New Zealanders have no appreciation of the importance of maintaining water quality is insulting
  • Farmers have invested heavily in reducing discharges to streams e.g. dairy shed effluent. Other users, (industries) also have a responsibility to do the same
  • Allocation is a market driven approach that is creating problems. It is possible to have tradability of permits without going to a hard market approach
  • Concern about protecting existing investment if reallocation of resources takes place
  • Consider the 'use it or lose it' approach to deal with over allocation
  • There is a problem that if isn't complying with the conditions of their consent, even though enforcement action can be taken, consent can't be taken away
  • There is a need for inspection of point sources. Diffuse discharges are important too but point sources need to be sorted out first. This is not addressed adequately in the document

Working together

  • Water can't be looked at in isolation from soils, biota etc. The Resource Management Act currently takes a mechanistic rather than a systems approach. People need to be working together
  • Two views exist: 'Land is a resource' and 'land must be preserved' both extremes are wrong and need to come together for a more balanced approach
  • Central and local government need to come together to develop national direction; for example, setting minimum flows - set timeframes and methods but not community outcomes. There is a need to take regional variability into account
  • In terms of working together, the whole framework is wrong. There is no communication between science and policy. Working together is not possible unless everyone is aiming for the same thing. There is a need to develop a common vision across government
  • There is a need to recognise that addressing problems takes time and land-owners must be worked with to find solutions

Additional issues raised

  • Mining privileges are not contained within the document and don't expire till 2021. These need to be dealt with before then
  • Better use and efficiency of water in urban communities is needed, for example, collection of rain water. Urban communities are a drain on rural resources
  • The document focuses on allocation but not the bigger picture of waste water, there needs to be more efficient use of water. Water efficiency must be looked at
  • There is confusion over riparian management. It is not clear in the document whose role riparian management is but its importance must be recognised
  • The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report needs to be considered
  • How will things be affected by climate change?
  • An inherent conflict exists between agriculture and high quality water

Table 20: Alexandra meeting

Central government direction

  • There seems to be an assumption that central government needs to be involved with central policy. Locals know regional issues best. It has been assumed that there is a need for a top-down approach. It is not the best approach as it is costly and ineffective. Central policies for water don't necessarily work because there are big differences between areas
  • Concern that the imposition of a national policy statement will destroy the credibility of processes that have been gone through in relation to the regional policy statement and the regional water plan, and confidence in the Resource Management Act
  • Decisions are best made at the local level by those involved and affected and know the region best
  • The problem is with the implementation of the process not with the process itself. This isn't a national issue, as it only occurs in some areas and there doesn't need to be another layer of control
  • Everything happens in a piecemeal way. Some people haven't got it quite right but it is not a national issue; in Central Otago it has worked quite well. If central government gets involved it will mess up what already works
  • Create local solutions. Local communities can sort problems out better than central government
  • Do not want to see a central government 'blanket approach'. Each waterway should be considered on its merits. Guidelines not rulings should come from central government
  • There are risks involved if decisions are made locally without understanding local and national values. These must also be clearly articulated. It is not difficult to identify national values; the difficulty is in working out how to deal with these at the local level
  • If water quality is to be measured according to national standards, it could create difficulties as it will not account for regional differences. In addition, most rural households are on independent water schemes - it would be hard to regulate this
  • The imposition of drinking water standards on water supplies would be an issue. It would be expensive to upgrade systems when water is mostly used for stock use and for washing down sheds. The community don't want blanket controls.
  • National initiative is needed to add value to local regimes. This requires an assessment of what is happening at local level and assistance where it is needed, rather than the 'one size fits all' approach

Central government involved

  • The process is not clear. What happens after submissions are processed and the minister has been reported to? Submissions should not only be referred to government but also to the community for comment
  • In areas where major problems exist such as the Waitaki, there is still no regional water plan. If central government requires councils that have not done planning to do it, this would be a better way to deal with issues than central government bringing in more controls
  • In the Waitahuna Catchment, problems exist as a result of the Otago Water Plan. The water plan has had a negative effect because the minimum flows have been set and TrustPower has applied to take water down to the minimum flow. This will lower flows and have negative impacts. It will also cost the district a lot of money to fight the resource consent application
  • Suggestion that the problem is in how the minimum flows are set
  • Before setting plans you must get full input from local people
  • There is a lack of expertise in New Zealand in the field of irrigation water use. There is a need for guidance on the best uses of water in communities. At the moment guidance and expertise is coming from the commercial sector, they are not qualified to give the best advice on the sustainable use of water. Farmers invest lots of money in irrigation. But this may not be the best use of water or the most efficient system
  • Regulators also don't always have enough expertise to make good decisions about regulation
  • Central government involvement in water issues should be through science and funding rather than allocation
  • What sort of national water quality monitoring programme exists at present?
  • What is happening to Central Otago water quality? Is it declining? Wouldn't it be a good idea for central government to be involved in water quality monitoring?
  • Some waterways have deteriorated and others not. Monitoring is inconsistent
  • Monitoring is expensive and the high cost is passed on to ratepayers. Huge amounts of data are generated and analysis of this data is expensive. Central government should get involved in monitoring water quality, flows and ecology to find out where there are and are not problems. Monitoring needs to occur along the whole river, not just at the bottom end. It is a problem that monitoring has devolved to the private sector and has become less available. Funding might be an appropriate role for central government
  • Central government should get involved in water harvesting. So much water is just going past us
  • The lack of detailed knowledge of what is going on and how water systems work is a problem at the regional level. This could be worse if decisions are made at national level
  • Has there been any comparison of the effectiveness of unitary and regional/territorial authorities?
  • Central government should have a monitoring and mentoring role

Provide more tools

  • Concern about taking away existing rights
  • Where water is used for productive uses, it should be determined whether this is the best use for water at this time. People should be able to work out the best way to manage this e.g. increase efficiency
  • Water management is an evolving process. Passing the management of irrigation schemes from government to users has resulted in much more effective management of water. Water trading is developing; there is a need to let things continue to evolve
  • Is the 'first-in, first-served' approach capable of determining the best use of water? There are no tools to address this question
  • Without water, intensive horticulture would not be possible. Irrigation is essential. There needs to be certainty before making investments. Security of water is essential to landowners
  • Security of water in the future looks tenuous. A lot of people are going to fight over different uses. There needs to be more working together between regional councils, irrigators and conservationists. There is nothing to gain from a competitive situation
  • Formulating minimum flows and ground water reserves is a problem area. Central government could help with funding in this area
  • Priority of water rights - an ability to trade to a higher priority right. One barrier to trading is the difficulty of trading between different parts of the catchment
  • Water conservation should be dealt with in the same way as electricity conservation in order to manage it better. People value electricity because they pay for it; there is a need to value water more
  • Should there be a priority use for water? Set priority uses for water at a national level
  • Economics, costs and benefits are all important. The economic benefits of proposals need to be tested

Working together

  • There is an assumption that Māori know all about irrigation and water use. This is not the case; they know less and hold up the process. If you give Māori an enhanced position, what about irrigators? Do they get special treatment too?
  • Territorial local authorities are invisible stakeholders. They do not appear in the discussion document but should. They are major players in water management. The principle benefit of their involvement is that they allow for wise, informed decisions to be made about land-use. We don't have the tools to make the right decisions. We are now faced with non-traditional land-use and have to make good decisions. Changes in land use and demand have created new issues and territorial local authorities need to be involved at a high level
  • Education is important, there needs to be awareness of issues such as urban water wastage and lowering of water tables by bores. There needs to be national input to raise awareness and concerns, possibly a national education campaign
  • The adversarial nature of the resource consent process and the ability for parties to oppose just because they can is without logic at times. This is particularly a problem when a government department is opposing something. Central and regional government should get together and sort out their differences

Additional issues raised

  • In some districts there is no distinction between rural and urban water - it all comes from the same aquifer. As such it is important that they are managed together
  • Dispend regional councils and hand the responsibility for water management back to district councils who are closer to the community
  • There needs to be more flexibility in the system. What about climate change? There is a need to have the flexibility at the local level to deal with this

Table 21: Invercargill meeting

Central government direction

  • The optimum point is getting back to how water bodies were before human settlement. We should regard this as our baseline. We are reducing our choices by degrading water bodies. We can redress some of our mistakes made 50 years ago. A market model is not the answer
  • Central government should stay out of local government planning, but direction might be needed to create consistency
  • Councils need some guidance to prevent developing unrealistic plans and rules
  • Plans are mostly developed by consultants with particular views. Central government needs to give consultants some direction through national guidance
  • Action 3: Water bodies of national importance - what are the next steps for this work?
  • Is there a possibility that water conservation orders might be replaced with another mechanism?

Central government involved

  • Triple bottom line accounting is important. The Ministry for the Environment's sustainable industry group and triple bottom line reporting need more funding
  • What is the bureaucracy needed for the programme? Will increased resources be needed to implement the programme? Are there any models from overseas that might work in New Zealand; for example, models which demonstrate the interaction between central and local government? Will there be a national body such as the Environment Protection Agency model?
  • Central government is passing the obligations without the money for implementation
  • We are working with a lack of knowledge on the impacts and the amount of the resource available
  • It is the Department of Conservation's job to protect waterways. Why are anglers paying for water conservation orders? The water belongs to all New Zealanders. Use should be controlled so other interests are not hindered. Some regional water plans are toothless. Plans often sound good but there is not enough action taken. There is no enforcement for non-compliance with consents. Councils should decide what the best use of the water is
  • Central government gives a subsidy to treat sewage, but Invercargill does not qualify for the subsidy because it is a city
  • Central government needs to fund monitoring of environment impacts. Consents must be monitored. Under a trading system you could lose the ability to monitor environmental impacts. Monitoring is a key part of the process. It can facilitate providing a reasonable environmental outcome while still maintaining a reasonable level of use
  • Irrigation technology is poorly developed. Many users are not aware of how to be more efficient
  • How much money is behind the committee? Will there be funding for storage facilities? Central government should provide some funding for storage
  • Storage is happening at an on-farm basis, especially in Canterbury. Water can evaporate before it reaches a storage facility
  • Central government support would speed the pace for further development of storage
  • Government is good at coming up with plans but it needs to subsidise farmers to develop dams so that the whole country benefits from their production
  • Nutrification problems began 40 years ago. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment mentioned in the land-use impacts on water quality report that there is a lack of soil science. We are losing the input of vital ideas and knowledge. Funding of soil science is contestable. There is a need for different kinds of expertise and knowledge across all of the sectors

Provide more tools

  • Is it equitable to compare consent applications? What about existing rights? These have to be protected too
  • What is the rationale behind auctioning or tendering resource consents? Those who have the money to pay for the use of water will be rewarded
  • It is commendable that the action plan is being developed. Unhealthy tensions will develop between users if we don't do something. First in first served is not working. A non-political allocation process is important. The use of market mechanisms could be an option. Will get best economic use when you charge for the resource. Short-term tradable leases could also be used. The volume of each catchment needs to be defined. New Zealand has to decide whether to have economic development or economic constraint
  • The 'first-in, first-served' system has some limitations. Water is a finite resource in Southland. Some people will eventually miss out on an opportunity to have water. There needs to be improvements made to the system
  • Some soil types are unsuited to particular types of land use. Groundwater can end up getting polluted
  • Needs to be provision for cutting back at the time of consent renewal
  • Soil types and hazards should be stated on land titles so that when a property is sold renewal may not be granted on particular types of land. This would provide an opportunity to take a look at the environmental impacts
  • Tradable rights could result in the wealthy only able to buy water
  • Intergenerational issues need to be considered, especially regarding tradable permits. Water rights could remain with some families only. We should avoid a Murray Darling Basin situation and should consider land-use appropriate for the soils. These choices used to be made. We need to look at sustainable farming without artificial inputs. Education is important
  • Tradable leases could result in corporate ownership of water. Natural assets should not be managed in this way
  • A dollar value cannot capture all the values. Environmental values could be lost sight of
  • Users often do not know how much water they are using. Permit holders are supposed to report on well levels. There should be a basic requirement that water use is metered. It is difficult to monitor groundwater conditions. Most of the Southland aquifers are shallow - about 20 metres. There is a collective responsibility to monitor water resources and their quality
  • There is a problem for deciding how much water should be left in the rivers. Tools like Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) should be given resources for development. Consistency of methods is needed as well as improved knowledge of tools
  • Tradable leases could be allocated annually. Leases would not be traded to multinationals. Trading would occur within the aquifer. The annual recharge of aquifer and surface water volumes would be metered. Daily assessment of use would be needed. One hundred percent of the available water would never be allocated. There would always be margins built into the system
  • People are confusing a property right with a use right. We are not talking about property rights because the Crown owns the water. One model could be if a regional council sets an allocation limit and users decide how to distribute water
  • Trading already takes place on an informal basis between dairy farmers
  • Water use right is often seen as property right issue. Informal water trades are a possibility
  • Priority could be given to those undertaking activities with less environmental impacts, for example hydroponics. Some activities would result in less groundwater pollution

Working together

  • What about support for the community to lodge submissions? The community often needs help to write submissions and has to write submissions in their own time. Processes that are more friendly for the public are needed
  • Why should farmers be held accountable for getting the best available information? Everyone should have to have financial input into the solutions and bare the costs of those solutions
  • Education should come into the equation sooner
  • These issues were talked about 40 years ago. People are more aware these days but people need to be shown it is no longer viable to conduct some practices. Some environmental impacts can be turned around to help individuals save money. We should not need to keep educating each generation
  • The document did not show the relationship between the Crown and Māori. There needs to be a good relationship between Māori and the Crown. Central government needs to take a leadership role with building relationships with Māori and other groups. People need to be informed and to have knowledge of the issues
  • A more integrated approach between district and regional councils is needed to address the links between land-use activities and freshwater. One option is to identify protected catchment areas, for example, riparian areas. The cumulative effects of land-use activities need to be taken into account

Additional issues raised

  • Coastal processes and marine issues should be taken into account. When we take water out of the rivers it directly has an impact on the marine environment. We need to deal directly with the impact on marine ecology. Only half of the issues will have been dealt with if we do not look at marine issues. Land-use impacts on coastal environment need to be considered. Marine officials should be added to this conversation
  • The urban population paying about 43 percent of rates and is getting a small return
  • We should be talking about all water in the catchment, which includes groundwater. Permits are clear about what can be discharged and the amount to be abstracted. There is going to be a lot of cleaning up needed especially where there are tile drains
  • There is often a conflict between rural and urban views concerning water allocation. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report on land-use impacts to water indicated that the two groups are linked. What influence will the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report have on the programme in terms of the recommendations, tools, solutions? What about the impacts of the urban community on demands for water?
  • Water in urban areas goes down drains. There needs to be better recycling and storage facilities for water in urban areas. There are opportunities for water recycling