Local projects and priorities

The enhancement of ecosystem health, indigenous biodiversity and recreation is at the heart of action on the ground in the Christchurch West Melton water zone. You can find a summary of some of our current projects:

8058 CWMS Stormwater Superheroes campaign Web teaser tile 900x500 JUN 232


You wouldn’t pour soapy suds, paint or petrol in the river, right? What about tipping in some trash, metal, dust, or dog poo?

Thought not, but when it rains or we wash stuff outside, the things we leave behind end up in our rivers, streams and sea.

Contaminants can travel, untreated, through the stormwater system, making the water in our rivers and sea unsafe for recreation and polluting the habitat of plants, fish and wildlife.

It's not hard to protect our waterways, here are some simple steps.

Ecan CC West Melton 9

Heathcote River/Ōpāwaho catchment

We are working with the Christchurch West Melton Water Zone Committee, Christchurch City Council, local rūnanga, and community groups and organisations to improve waterway health in this catchment.

Read more about the Heathcote River/Ōpāwaho catchment.

Avon River

Avon River/Ōtākaro catchment

We’re supporting the Avon Ōtākaro Network in the catchment and carrying out the following projects.

Find out more about the Avon River/Ōtākaro catchment.

Otukaikino River planting project

Ōtūkaikino Stream catchment

The zone committee has supported funding several biodiversity enhancement projects in the Ōtūkaikino Stream area.

Find out more about the Ōtūkaikino catchment.

Styx River

Styx River catchment

The Styx River is a spring-fed ecosystem situated on the northern edge of Christchurch city.

As the city grows and the Styx is surrounded by urban areas, the challenge is to protect it from pollution.

The water zone committee and Environment Canterbury are supporting the Styx River Living Laboratory Trust with work in the area.

South Brighton estuary

Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai catchment

We support the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust with an annual grant, staff liaison and a councillor on its board.

The Trust has a Memorandum of Understanding with us and the Christchurch City Council, who are currently helping fund the development of an Ecological Management Plan for the Estuary.

Representatives from the trust and councils organisations meet regularly to discuss significant issues and the implementation of the Ihutai Management Plan.

The Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai is the receiving environment for the Heathcote River/Ōpāwaho and the Avon River/Ōtākaro.

Support for farmers and community

Support is available to farmers to help meet Good Management Practice and mahinga kai outcomes. We also have support available for community groups and landowners looking to undertake an environmental project. Read on to find out more about these topics.

people on farm working

Farming in Christchurch West Melton

Find more information on consents, tools, rules, and responsibilities that might apply to your farm.

Visit the Farmers' hub.


Community support

We provide support to community organisations for projects and initiatives that align with our priorities.

See types of support available and how to apply.

gathering watercress from stream

Mahinga kai

Mahinga kai/mahika kai is about the value of natural resources that sustain life, including the life of people.

Read more about mahinga kai and why it's important we protect it.