Water and land | Te Wai me Te Whenua

We are improving freshwater outcomes by partnering with Ngāi Tahu and the community to implement national direction. We are also empowering and engaging communities to deliver actions on the ground to meet the Canterbury Water Management Strategy targets.

land water whakataukīThere are six strategic programmes of work in this portfolio:

Working together for healthy water and land 

Our work is guided by the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS), a shared regional commitment between Papatipu Rūnanga, territorial authorities, Zone Committees, stakeholder organisations and the community.  

We are ensuring Canterbury’s water resources are managed sustainably for environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits. We support ten water zone committees (largely based on river catchments) to deliver on CWMS targets in their zone. The zone committees – joint committees of Environment Canterbury and the local authority that covers each zone – have representatives appointed from across the community.

The Regional Water Management Committee monitors the implementation of the CWMS across the Canterbury region, and provides advice and regular reports to Environment Canterbury, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Canterbury Mayoral Forum. 

Through this work programme, we will also support the implementation of the Government’s Essential Freshwater package, which aims to improve freshwater quality throughout the country.   

Monitoring and understanding our environment 

We collect and manage environmental data that can be accessed and used by all. Monitoring data ensures we understand trends and actions required to meet statutory requirements and are improving outcomes. This data can be accessed online via the Land Air Water Aotearoa website, and on this website where we record current Rainfall DataWave DataRiver Flow Data and Air Quality Data.  

Monitoring environmental indicators over the long-term will support decision making and guide future direction. We are investigating monitoring for climate change signals, emerging contaminants, indicative modelling, and the impact of on-the-ground action and interventions. 

Freshwater regulatory framework 

Freshwater is managed locally and through national direction from Government. We are working with our partners to review and amend our regulatory framework to give effect to the Government’s Essential Freshwater package, the Resource Management Act and the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.  

We want to ensure our freshwater regulatory framework is: 

  • compliant with statutory requirements and national direction 
  • embeds and articulates Ngāi Tahu vision and interpretation of Te Mana o te Wai 
  • is effective and responsive to changes in the environmental outcomes.  

Healthy waterways actions 

To reach our goals of healthy waterways we need to take action. As well as implementing our planning framework and national direction, we will partner with Papatipu Rūnanga to increase community engagement and awareness of Te Mana o te Wai.

We’re raising awareness, educating and encouraging sustainable land use in Canterbury. As well as monitoring compliance with regulations and ensuring water and land management practices are improving through Good Management Practice framework and tools.  

Stewardship of water and land 

Stewardship of water and land is a collective responsibility. Our role will include investing in ways of supporting, building awareness and implementing opportunities to deliver improved water quality and sustainable land use in Waitaha – the Canterbury region. We monitor and review the effectiveness of all our campaigns and programmes.  

Freshwater resilience 

By supporting intergenerational, multi-stakeholder catchment-based projects which restore freshwater environments, we are building community support and enabling implementation of the Essential Freshwater Package

How is this portfolio funded?

To find out how this portfolio is funded, view the rates tool.

Visit our water hub for more information about the state of our water.

Visit Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA)