Freshwater quality

Government freshwater reforms: Taranaki update June 2020

The Government has announced its revised freshwater regulation regime, moderating its original approach in a number of areas and delaying a decision on any need for or the content of rules around nutrient limits. This fact sheets outlines the decisions on matters of concern to Taranaki

Freshwater reform: Taranaki update 2020 [PDF, 555 KB]

Clean, healthy water is the region’s most precious resource, and the Council’s programmes and rules aim to help the community maintain and improve water quality.

Most notably, the region’s world-scale Riparian Management Programme has already seen thousands of kilometres of streambanks fenced and millions of native plants go into the ground on the Taranaki ring plain. The water-quality benefits of this work are well established scientifically.

Other measures to protect and enhance water quality are embedded in the Council’s Regional Freshwater Plan for Taranaki, which sets out conditions and standards that must be met by those who take water from and/or discharge to rivers and streams.

Taranaki waterways.

Taranaki has a lot of waterways: 286 main river catchments and 530 named rivers. The two largest rivers - the Waitara and Patea - drain large areas of the ring plain and hillcountry. The remaining catchments are relatively small.

How are we doing?

See our 2018 waterways report card for a summary of progress to date.

The past & the future

Pressures on Taranaki’s freshwater resource have been stable compared with many other areas, particularly those experiencing widespread dairy conversions or rapid urbanisation. Dairy cow numbers and fertiliser use, for example, have changed little in Taranaki in the past 15 years.

The Council believes, however, that Taranaki should not and cannot rest on its laurels. The community has high and growing expectations and aspirations around the quality of our waterways. Protecting and further enhancing our freshwater resource will effectively ‘future-proof’ the region, ensuring that Taranaki can continue to offer economic opportunities and enviable lifestyles to the children and grandchildren of today’s citizens.