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Water ManagementWhakahaere wai

The Regional Council plays a key role in promoting sustainable, long-term water management. We carry out scientific monitoring and investigations to understand the nature of the resources and the systems that they support. We set limits and levels and monitor these across the region’s connected surface and groundwater resources.

This video explains groundwater modelling the Council undertakes to inform future water management.

Heretaunga Water Allocation FAQ's

The Regional Council staff undertake water management activities, recognising that water is a common good. They are guided by legislation, by national policy statements and regulations and by the Regional Council Regional Resources Management Plan and changes to it including Plan Change 6 (Tukituki Catchment) and Plan Change 9 (TANK).

The Regional Plan sets minimum flows and allocation limits for most of the regions waterbodies. The recent plan changes include standards and limits for water quality with clear intentions to prevent further degradation to water quality and improvements.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management or NPSFM 2020 introduces the concept of Te Mana o te Wai. This refers to the fundamental importance of water and recognises that protecting the health of freshwater protects the health and well-being of the wider environment. The NPSFM 2020 directs the Regional Council to establish objectives which describes how the management of freshwater in the region will give effect to Te Mana o te Wai. The requirements of the NPSFM will lead to changes to how water and land is managed and used in the future. 

The traditional allocation model has been ‘first in, first served’, however the changing thinking of government, landowners and other key stakeholders is challenging this model.

Regional plan objectives 

  • Achieve sustainable groundwater allocation and surface water allocation.
  • Manage cumulative effects of groundwater takes on others.
  • Use water efficiently.

Regional Plans

  • Include minimum flows and allocation limits for surface water.
  • Do not set these for groundwater.
  • Manage stream depletion effects on surface water bodies.
  • Provide guidance that new takes area not to affect existing efficient.

Groundwater takes:

  • Tukituki Plan Change (PC6) provides an enhanced allocation regime and sequence for minimum flow bans.
  • Are still 'first in, first served' for new water takes.

Consents Telarc


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