Ashburton Water Zone Committee Action Plan 2021-2024

Each of Waitaha/Canterbury’s water zone committees has an action plan which outlines how they will work with the community to deliver their aspirations for freshwater as outlined in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS).

The CWMS puts the future of our water resources in the hands of the community. Zone committees work collaboratively to develop recommendations for councils and other organisations to deliver shared goals and targets.

Committee purpose

To uphold the mana of the freshwater bodies within Ashburton by facilitating enduring land and water management solutions that give effect to the Canterbury Water Management Strategy vision, principles and targets in our zone.

The CWMS aims to enable present and future generations to gain the greatest social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits from our water resources within an environmentally sustainable framework.

Committee role

  • Facilitate community engagement and collaboration by continuing an active programme of engaging with communities on freshwater management matters.
  • Facilitate the provision of advice through to councils (relevant territorial authorities and Environment Canterbury) and others (e.g. private sector) contributing to freshwater management.
  • Enhance delivery capability and coalition of the willing – working with stakeholders across all sectors to extend the resources available to implement the CWMS, including connecting others to additional resources and seeking opportunities to promote, support, leverage and expand catchment-based initiatives that deliver the CWMS.
  • Provide progress reports – annual progress reporting to councils and rūnanga on progress towards delivery of the zone-specific priorities and CWMS target areas identified in the Zone Committee Action Plan.
Ashburton Zone Committee field trip

Ashburton Water Zone Committee field trip

Lake Clearwater

Te Puna a Taka/Lake Clearwater

Our actions

Find out more about how we're tracking to achieve our goals and what progress has been made in the last year.

View the 2021/22 progress report.

We will focus on several waterbodies:

  • Ō Tū Wharekai/Ashburton Lakes,
  • Hakatere/Ashburton River and its tributaries (including Carters Creek and Wakanui hāpua) and
  • Hekeao/Hinds catchment.

We will work to enhance mahinga kai values by:

  • Working in partnership with papatipu rūnanga, with councils, government agencies, catchment and community groups, and landowners championing five mahinga kai projects across the zone.
  • Increasing our knowledge of mahinga kai, including by attending a hui on mahinga kai at Te Pā o Moki Marae with Te Taumutu Rūnanga in 2021.
  • Utilising our members’ communications channels such as newsletters, news media and social media to educate and promote mahinga kai and tangata whenua values.
  • Ensuring mahinga kai is considered in all projects and decisions.

We will work towards improving ecosystem health and meeting biodiversity targets by:

  • Advocating for the protection of native fish species including uninterrupted access to the sea and the reduction of fish barriers where appropriate.
  • Co-hosting a 2021/22 Rakaia field trip with the Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee, with a focus on biodiversity and recreation.
  • Supporting the Ō Tū Wharekai/Ashburton Lakes recovery project by keeping abreast of the project implementation and assisting with recommendations where appropriate, which may include community engagement and education.
  • Working with partners and the community to review progress with the Hinds Drains Working Party recommendations and help facilitate the development of the Hekeao/Hinds biodiversity vision and providing ongoing support for agreed actions.
  • Facilitating a collaborative process to agree and support priority projects within the Hakatere/Ashburton River catchment. Examples of existing projects include the Hakatere river mouth enhancement, Ashburton consent review and biodiversity corridor Ki Uta Ki Tai.
  • Supporting the Carters Creek Enhancement project group by assisting with community engagement, education and communications, to encourage behaviours that positively impact water quality in Carters Creek.
  • Engaging with councils, rūnanga, catchment groups and schools to support further restoration activities which positively impact the biodiversity and mahinga kai values of the Wakanui hāpua area.

We will support measures to enhance recreation and amenity targets by:

  • Identifying waterways that do not meet contact recreation standards, and supporting and encouraging catchment groups and community groups to implement actions that achieve water quality improvements for contact recreation.
  • Supporting the Ō Tū Wharekai/Ashburton Lakes recovery project to arrest the decline in high-country lake water quality for contact recreation by assisting with the implementation of recommendations where appropriate, which may include community engagement and education.

Council priorities

Zone committees are joint committees of local and regional councils, with mana whenua and community representation. Councils provide CWMS priorities for each zone committee to guide the committee’s action plans.

Ashburton District Council priorities

  • Ashburton Lakes water quality and future preservation
  • Carters Creek enhancement project
  • Wakanui hāpua project

Environment Canterbury priorities

Kaitiakitanga Wāhi Taonga and mahinga kai targets

Working alongside landowners, rūnanga, communities, and others to inspire and grow support for and resources needed to achieve the 2025 mahinga kai goal of five mahinga kai projects in each zone.

Ecosystem health and biodiversity targets

Working alongside landowners, rūnanga, communities, councils and others to inspire and grow support and resources to achieve the 2025 target goal covering all freshwater ecosystems through

  • increased riparian management to protect aquatic ecosystems
  • reducing the number of fish barriers in the zone
  • protection and enhancement of named wetlands.

Recreation and amenity targets

Working alongside landowners, rūnanga, communities, councils and others to support and grow resources to achieve the 2025 target to restore priority freshwater recreation opportunities in each zone that do not meet contact recreation standards, and developing plans and actions to achieve and show measurable progress.