The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) provides direction to local authorities on managing the activities that affect the health of freshwater. The NPS-FM is about protecting, enhancing and preventing further damage to waterways, lakes and the environment of New Zealand’s freshwater resources and start to make immediate improvements so that water quality is materially improving.
The NPS-FM outlines how regional councils, including Horizons, should manage the wai (water) and freshwater ecosystem health. It states that we must manage fresh water in a way that gives effect to Te Mana o te Wai, through working with tangata whenua, as well as working with the community to understand what is valued about freshwater. It also sets out a National Objectives Framework to develop attributes, states, flows and levels to achieve environmental outcomes for freshwater. The NPS-FM looks at water through a ‘ki uta ki tai' ('mountains to sea') lens and therefore Council will have a holistic approach to address freshwater in the region.
This means we don’t yet have all the answers as to how this will apply to different groups in our region. As we continue to move forward with this policy, we will share information to help everyone stay informed.