As a result of central government’s Essential Freshwater Package, we have to revise how we manage the well-being of freshwater in our region. To make sure this reflects the views of people who live in the region as much as possible, we will be doing various rounds of engagement. Some have been done already, such as our previous engagement on values and on long-term visions for freshwater. Others will happen before we go through a legal process to change the rules.
That legal process – notifying a change to the One Plan, our guide to managing natural resources in our region – is scheduled to happen in 2024.
There will be opportunities to be part of the engagement between now and the One Plan change notification. You can subscribe to our freshwater e-newsletter to stay up to date along the way. You are also always welcome to share your thoughts on freshwater in the region with us at any point via our feedback form.
Having your say
We are not relying on our own knowledge and experiences to decide how the well-being of freshwater is managed in the Horizons Region. We need the knowledge and experiences of people in our region to ensure what we do reflects the needs and values of our community.
This is why we want to hear from you. Engagement rounds will usually come with specific ways to provide feedback. However, you can have your say – both during, before and after engagement rounds – via our feedback form.
You can use the form to provide feedback during an engagement, let us know what we may have missed during previous engagements, and to share your thoughts regarding information on this website.
Our engagement approach
We have different engagement approaches to enable different groups – iwi/hapū, stakeholders and the wider community – to share their unique experiences with and perspectives of freshwater. We will weave their shared knowledge – mātauranga, science or other information – and experiences into our existing knowledge to create a plan to manage and care for freshwater.
Think of this approach like a braided river. Rivers start from a small source, but as they flow to the sea are fed by multiple smaller streams. All those sources build the strength of a river.
The braids of a river can appear to flow individually times, reflecting the unique views of different groups in our region. Those unique views and knowledge bases will require different forms of engagement, sometimes happening seemingly in isolation from each other.
However, we aim to bring together all those thoughts and engagements to create a strong vision of how to care for freshwater in our region, with all of us ultimately unified and moving in the same direction with the same goals.
Iwi/hapū and Treaty settlement legislation
We are working closely with iwi and hapū and having discussions at the same time as our wider engagement. We are also working with post-settlement entities to ensure our work aligns with strategies being developed under Te Awa Tupua for the Whanganui River and Te Waiū-o-Te-Ika for the Whangaehu River.
We acknowledge our approach to implementing the freshwater reform must support Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi and must not be inconsistent with any treaty settlement legislation.
Te Awa Tupua
The Whanganui River is subject to Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017. A whole of river strategy, Te Heke Ngahuru, is being developed by Te Kōpuka, a representative strategy development group. It is intended that the new Freshwater Regional Plan is a contributor to the achievement of the objectives of Te Heke Ngahuru.
The Whangaehu River is subject to the Ngāti Rangi Claims Settlement Act 2019, which has established the Te Waiū-o-Te-Ika framework for the catchment.
Even though these engagements have officially closed, you are welcome to share your thoughts on any previous round of engagement with us. If you would like to make a submission you can fill in our feedback form to have your say any time.