Have your say on how we manage Auckland’s freshwater

Publish Date : 13 Jun 2022
20220613 NPS FM

Auckland Council is calling on Aucklanders to give their feedback on what they value most about the region’s freshwater, to help inform upcoming changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP).

As part of efforts to ensure Aotearoa’s freshwater resources are protected and enhanced, central government drafted and adopted the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM).

Based on the fundamental concept of Te mana o te Wai, which prioritises the health of water and focuses on preserving the balance between the water, the wider environment, and the community, the NPS-FM gives local authorities direction on how freshwater should be managed.

The NPS-FM requires every regional council to amend its regional plan by the end of 2024 to give full effect to the NPS-FM; for Auckland that is the AUP.

It applies to all freshwater bodies including:

  • rivers
  • streams
  • lakes
  • wetlands
  • aquifers
  • springs

These changes will affect how we can use and develop land where freshwater is affected, i.e. sediment discharges; and protect freshwater to ensure it is allocated appropriately and that threatened species can flourish.

“We know Aucklanders value their freshwater for a number of reasons – perhaps they use it for recreation, fishing, drinking or irrigation purposes,” says Auckland Council General Manager Plans & Places, John Duguid.

 “The changes we are required to make to the Auckland Unitary Plan under the NPS-FM will impact how Aucklanders can manage and use the region’s freshwater, and that’s why it’s important for us to get an understanding of what their priorities for water are.”

The feedback received will be used to inform the changes that will be made to the AUP, including setting freshwater water management targets, resource use limits and plan provisions that will apply to land and water use. Feedback collated in earlier water related consultations will also be considered.

Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee Councillor Richard Hills says we need to act quickly to reverse the decades of degradation that has been done to our rivers, lakes and streams.

“We know water is precious; that’s why we developed and adopted the Auckland Water Strategy earlier this year.

“As our region has developed and our population increased, the health of our water sources has depleted, at the expense of our ecosystems and wider natural environment. We can’t afford to keep going the way we have been or one day, we will be too late to turn back the clock and some of the things we take for granted will be lost. 

“The changes that will be made to the AUP under the NPS-FM 2020 are another step in the process of reversing the damage that has been done, helping us to ensure that the wellbeing of our freshwater is managed, restored and protected for the health of our city and future generations.”

How Aucklanders can have their say

Consultation is open from Monday 13 June to Sunday 17 July.

There are a range of ways for Aucklanders to find out more information and to give their feedback.

Online

Online webinars:

In person

Visit one of our pop-up events:

  • Pukekohe Library, 18 June 2022 (11am –1pm)
  • Warkworth Library, 18 June 2022, (11am – 1pm)
  • Central Library, 2 July 2022 (11am - 1pm)
  • Te Manawa-Westgate Library, 2 July 2022 (11am – 1pm)
  • Takapuna Library, 2 July 2022 (11am – 1pm)
  • Botany Library, 2 July 2022 (11am – 1pm)
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