Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme

The Waimakariri Land & Water Solutions Programme is a collaborative project being led by the Waimakariri Water Zone Committee to achieve the community’s goals for freshwater.  The zone committee will work with the community to develop specific land and water management recommendations for the zone to feed into the local and regional council’s plans and rules.

Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme 

The first step was to develop a Zone Implementation Programme to outline the actions and tactics required to improve water quality in the zone.  This was developed with the community and finalised in 2011.

In 2015 the committee talked to the community to capture their priorities for local water management before beginning to develop a “Zone Implementation Programme Addendum” (ZIPA) the following year.

The ZIPA includes a set of recommendations to councils to address the community’s goals for local water management. It focuses on priority areas including:

  • Protecting drinking water quality
  • Improve instream health and environmental flows
  • Protect and enhance cultural values and biodiversity
  • Reducing nitrates and sediment run-off.
  • Manage surface and ground water allocations

The ZIPA was received by Environment Canterbury and the Waimakariri District Council at their respective meetings in late December 2018.  It is the culmination of more than two years’ of engagement and ongoing feedback from all sectors of the community. This has included over 60 workshops, community meetings and feedback sessions. Read more here.

Feedback on the draft ZIPA

Thank you to those who made the time to provide feedback on the draft ZIPA. The feedback period has now closed.

The Waimakariri Water Zone Committee received feedback from the following people and groups.
22 people responded anonymously via the website questionnaire
Alan Crowe
Alan Hawkins
Alex Dalzell
Alister Metherell
An O’Grady
Andrew Marwick
Beef and Lamb
Bob Gumbrell
Bowden Environmental
Canterbury District Health Board
Carleton Dairies Ltd
Carolyn Rossiter
Christchurch City Council
Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee
Craig McIntosh
Cust River Water Users Group
Dan Harris
Department of Conservation
Dr Richard Lucy
Drucilla Kingi-Patterson
Environment Canterbury (Biodiversity and River Engineering)
Eyreton Produce Limited
Federated Farmers New Zealand
G Reed
Harry Meijer
Henry Wardell
Horticulture New Zealand
Holton Farm
James Ensor
James Parbery
Jenna Young
John and Lynn Madeley
John Larsen
John Murchison
Judy Ansen
Kaiapoi Tuaiwi Community Board
Kay Deer
Kelvin Belcher
Kerin and Erin Brown
Knightlea Ltd
Lesley Hurley
Linda Pocock
Louise Douglas
Mandeville Residents Association
Marilyn Dalzell
Mark Barlow
Michael Bate
Next Generation Farmers Group
Nekta Nutrition UK Ltd 
Norm Trebilcock
North Canterbury Fish & Game Council
NZ Deer Farmers Association (Canterbury-West Coast Branch)
Oxford Ohoka Community Board
Penny Wright
R & G Rouse
Rangiora Ashley Community Board
Rangiora High School
Ray Norris
Rhonda and Peter Sherriff
Richard Lucy
Richard Stalker
Robert Devlin
Rosemary Clark
Rosina & Graham Rouse, feedback supported by 27 other parties
Scott and Sarah Rossiter
Shaun Lissington
Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust
Thomas McBreaky
Waimakariri District Council (3 Waters)
Waimakariri Irrigation Ltd
Woodend Sefton Community Board
WJ & LE Bailey Farming Ltd 
WJ Winter & Sons Ltd


Next Steps

The ZIPA will be used as the basis for a plan change to the Land and Water Regional Plan which is scheduled to be notified in mid-2019 for submissions. 

Timeline for developing water management recommendations 

Working with Community

Community freshwater outcomes
The zone committee has worked with the community to develop nine freshwater outcomes 
1. The Ashley/Rakahuri River is safe for contact recreation, has improved river habitat, fish passage, and customary use; and has flows that support natural coastal processes
2. The Waimakariri River as a receiving environment is a healthy habitat for freshwater and coastal species, and is protected and managed as an outstanding natural landscape and recreation resource 

3. The water quality and quantity of spring-fed streams maintains or improves mahinga kai gathering and diverse aquatic life 
4. Highly reliable irrigation water, to a target of 95%, is available in the zone
5. Indigenous biodiversity in the zone is protected and improved 
6. The zone has safe and reliable drinking water, preferably from secure sources
7. Optimal water and nutrient management is common practice
8. Improved contribution to the regional economy from the zone
9. Land and freshwater management in the Waimakariri Zone will, over time, support the maintenance of the current high-quality drinking water from Christchurch’s aquifers.

Previous workshops and meetings

Community engagement on the draft Zone Implementation Addendum was held between Wednesday 26 September and Wednesday 10 October. Various sessions were held in Kaiapoi, Pegasus, Oxford, Rangiora, Belfast and Ohoka Market.

Download presentation

Silverstream, Courtenay stream, Greigs drain and Coastal streams water consent holder workshop

7 June 2018
Download presentation 

Ohoka water consent holder workshop
6 June 2018
Download presentation

Cust Main Drain, Cust River, No.7 water consent holder workshop
31 May 2018
Download presentation

Cam, North, Middle and South Brook water consent holder workshop
30 May 2018
Download presentation

Eyre catchment discussion on nitrates meeting
2 May 2018

Saltwater Creek water consent holder workshop
24 April 2018
Download presentation

Ashley River/ Rakahuri water consent holder workshop
19 April 2018
Download presentation

Little Ashley, Taranaki and Waikuku water consent holder workshop
18 April 2018
Download presentation

Community meetings to address nitrates in the Waimakariri Zone

Wednesday 18 July 2018
Thursday 19 July 2018
Wednesday 25 July 2018

Download presentation

See Storymap for water consent holders workshops in November 2017 and Community meetings in Oct and Nov 2016 and April 2017.

Other information

Technical reports

Cultural assessment


Estuary water quality and ecology

Farmer Panel Information


Land use

Nitrate Information

Social and recreation

Surface water quantity

Surface water quality and ecology

Read older technical reports

Historical information (prior to 1 January 2018)

You can access information on the Waimakariri Land & Water Solutions Programme – Current State, Current Pathway prior to the 1st January 2018 here.

Further information, including frequently asked questions and feedback on the Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme can also be found here.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Waimakariri Water Zone Implementation Programme Addendum?

The Waimakariri Water Zone Committee has been working with the community over the past few years to develop a shared vision for freshwater in the zone.

A series of recommendations that set out on the ground actions to help address land and freshwater challenges in the zone have been developed and these are reflected in the committee’s draft Zone Implementation Programme Addendum (ZIPA).

Now the recommendations have been accepted by councils, they will inform plans for water management.

Once finalised, the recommendations will inform council plans for water management. This will be done by Envirnment Canterbur through a formal plan change to the Waimakariri section 8 of the Canterbury Land Water Regional Plan.

What is the Zone Committee recommending and why?

The zone committee’s recommendations fall in to five key areas. The table below identifies these key areas and provides an example of the kinds of actions that could help freshwater challenges in the zone.

Key area Recommendation example
Improving stream health Broad suite of recommendations to manage run-off contaminants, sediment and riparian planting through practical actions and catchment plans; education and support to landowners; additional protection for aquatic species; barriers to fish passage; extending stock exclusion rules to drains and springs; and additional monitoring.
Protecting and Enhancing Indigenous biodiversity Recommendations to enhance Ngāi Tūāhuriri values and indigenous terrestrial, freshwater and estuarine biodiversity; support for community groups and implementation of the Canterbury Regional Biodiversity Strategy; and a working group and investigation and monitoring programme for the Ashley Estuary (Te Aka Aka).
Reducing nitrates Nitrate limits for rivers and drinking water supply wells; a Nitrate Priority Management Area and staged approach to reducing nitrate losses from farms (beyond GMP); non-statutory actions including managed aquifer recharge; changes to permitted activity areas for winter grazing of cattle; and monitoring and review.
Managing Surface water Quantity Changes to minimum flows and allocation limits for rivers and methods to address over-allocation.
Managing Groundwater Quantity

Changes to Groundwater Allocation Zones and groundwater allocation limits to better manage the groundwater resource in the zone.

How will the recommendations be implemented?

Once finalised, the recommendations will inform council plans for water management.
This will be done by Environment Canterbury through a formal plan change to the Waimakariri section 8 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.

The Waimakariri District Council will consider the recommendations when they review their district plan. The community will have a chance to submit on both formal processes.

There will also be practical actions the community, industry, and other organisations can make to reflect the intent of the recommendations. For urban people this could be as simple as washing your car on the lawn instead of your driveway so toxins don’t enter our streams via the wastewater system.

What initiatives are currently underway to improve water quality?

The Waimakariri Water Zone Committee provides funding for Immediate Steps Projects for community groups and farmers who are making positive changes on their land and across Waimakariri’s waterways.

An infiltration trial and denitrification wall trial are underway at Silverstream to assess their effectiveness in reducing nitrate levels. Waterways are being fenced off with larger setbacks from streams and rivers and riparian planting projects are being carried out across the zone.

Irrigation schemes are using cloud-based technology to provide farmers with science-based information to promote effective use of irrigation. Most farmers across the zone are well on the way to reaching Good Management Practice and have made on-farm changes to reduce their impact on the environment.

Community groups are carrying out also riparian planting projects with assistance from the zone committee. This helps reduce the amount of contaminants entering our waterways.

In regards of Good Management Practice and managing nitrates, what is the Zone Committee’s starting point?

The Waimakariri Water Zone Committee’s starting point for managing nitrates is Plan Change 5 to the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan.
When Plan Change 5 becomes operative it will bring in new definitions, policies, rules, limits and schedules to require, from July 2020, farming activities to operate at “Good Management Practice” including for nitrate loss.

However, science information highlights that Good Management Practice under Plan Change 5 will not be enough to meet the nitrate limits proposed for some rivers and drinking water supply wells. Therefore, the Zone Committee is recommending that landowners reduce their nitrate losses “beyond Good Management Practice” in the part of the zone that it has called a Nitrate Priority Management Area.

How do the recommendations address nitrate issues in the zone?

They propose farming activities within the zone will need to comply with new nutrient management rules and adopt good management practices (GMP) to reduce the impact their operation has on our land and waterways.

A Nitrate Priority Management Area has also been established where further reductions in nitrate losses will need to be made over time to protect and enhance freshwater quality.

The draft recommendations require consented dairy farms to reduce losses by a further 10-15% beyond what is required by GMP and all other consented farming activities will need to reduce losses by 5-10% over time.
Nitrate concentrations will be monitored to see whether further reductions need to be made.

Why are you proposing a staged approach to the further nitrate reductions?

The zone committee has tried to find a balance between moving as fast as possible towards meeting nitrate concentrations that support healthy ecosystems and Ngāi Tūāhuriri values while at the same time, providing for a future that supports the lifestyles and communities of Waimakariri.

The staged approach sets clear expectations that further reductions will be needed whilst also providing an opportunity to adapt the steps in response to new information on progress towards meeting the limits, new tools and management practices.

Will lifestyle/small block owners be affected?

The zone committee wants to extend a pilot education programme targeted at small block holders and promote the development of Lifestyle Block Management Plans.

In Plan Change 5 to the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan, it was found that the permitted winter grazing allowances potentially allowed for further increases in nitrate losses.

This means some small block owners who may not have needed a consent will now need to get consent if their property is a certain size and the amount of area they are providing for winter grazing. See Section D3 in the draft ZIPA for details.

How is Winter Grazing defined?

In Plan Change 5 is it defined as meaning the grazing of cattle within the period of 1 May to 30 September, where the cattle are contained for break-feeding of in-situ brassica and root vegetable forage crops or for consuming supplementary feed that has been brought onto the property.

Contact us

For more information about the Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme contact waimakaririzone@ecan.govt.nz or contact customer services on phone 0800 324 636. You can find more information about the Waimakariri Water Zone Committee here.