The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) is currently consulting on a package of freshwater regulations including a proposed National Policy Statement: Action for healthy waterways: a discussion document on national direction for our essential freshwater.  The fundamental concept informing the NPS is Te Mana o te Wai, which prioritises “the fundamental value of water” over the value of water for “human needs and wants”. 

This is a very important consultation - the NPS will have a big impact on how freshwater is managed throughout NZ for many years to come.  MfE is keen to hear people's views on the above concept and questions such as: "Do you agree that the health of our freshwater should be our first priority? Do you think the proposals will result in water quality materially improving within five years?”

Part of the package is a proposed NPS which will set out objectives and policies for freshwater management and specify what local authorities must do to help achieve those objectives and policies.  Also included are Proposed National Environmental Standards for Freshwater and the Draft Stock Exclusion Section 360 Regulation.  For an overview see the 6 page summary document at this link.

Submissions will be accepted until October 31.