NPS Objectives

The NPSFM sets out several objectives for the management of freshwater. The key objectives are:

  • To consider and recognise Te Mana o te Wai in the management of fresh water (Objective AA1).

  • To safeguard:
    a) the life-supporting capacity, ecosystem processes and indigenous species including their associated ecosystems of fresh water, and
    b) the health of people and communities, as affected by contact with fresh water;
    in sustainably managing the use and development of land; the taking, using, damming or diverting of freshwater; and of discharges of contaminants (Objectives A1 and B1).
  • In respect of water quality, that the overall quality of fresh water within a freshwater management unit is maintained or improved while:
    a) protecting the significant values of outstanding freshwater bodies
    b) protecting the significant values of wetlands
    c) Improving the quality of freshwater in water bodies that have been degraded by human activities to the point of being over-allocated (Objective A2).
  • That the quality of fresh water within a freshwater management unit is improved so it is suitable for primary contact more often, unless regional improvement targets have been achieved or it is subject to limitations caused by naturally occurring processes (Objective A3).

‘Outstanding freshwater bodies’ are defined section as those water bodies identified in a regional policy statement or regional plan as having outstanding values, including ecological, landscape, recreational and spiritual values.  As yet, there is no definitive suite of criteria for what constitutes an outstanding freshwater body.

New Objectives A4 and B5 are to enable communities to provide for their economic well-being, including productive economic opportunities, in sustainably managing freshwater quality and quantity, within limits.  Similarly worded policies implement those objectives (Policies A7 and B8).

There are a number of additional objectives in respect of water quantity. Objective B2 requires avoidance of any further over-allocation of fresh water and the phase out of existing over-allocation. Objective B3 requires improvement and maximisation of the efficient allocation and efficient use of water. Objective B4 requires the protection of the significant values of wetlands and outstanding freshwater bodies.

Objective C1 is to improve integrated management of fresh water and the use and development of land in whole catchments. This is necessary if the other objectives are to be achieved.

Objective CA1 is to provide an approach for establishing freshwater objectives for national values, and any other values that is nationally consistent and recognises regional and local circumstances. This is to be provided for through the National Objectives Framework.

Objective CB1 is to provide for an approach to the monitoring of progress towards, and the achievement of, freshwater objectives. The NPSFM requires regional councils to develop monitoring plans to achieve this objective.

Objective CC1 relates to freshwater accounting.  It is to improve information on freshwater takes and sources of freshwater contaminants. Freshwater accounting will provide information for councils to use in setting freshwater objectives and limits and managing freshwater.

Objective D1 is to provide for the involvement of iwi and hapu in the management of freshwater and to ensure that tangata whenua values and interests are identified and reflected in decision making.

Last updated at 9:07AM on April 3, 2018