Ko tātou ko te wai, ko te wai ko tātou – We are the water and the water is us.

We’re developing a new freshwater plan for Te Taitokerau

The Freshwater Plan Change is a blueprint for improving the health of freshwater – rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands and aquifers – in Te Taitokerau Northland. It means big changes to how land and freshwater is managed in our region.

Feedback on the draft plan

We know big changes are needed to significantly improve the health of freshwater in our region.

We consulted the community about the draft changes from November 2023 to March 2024. We’ll use the feedback we received to help shape the proposed Freshwater Plan Change, which is the next step in the process of developing our new freshwater plan.

We received feedback from hundreds of Northlanders from all walks of life, and we thank everyone who took the time to participate in the webinars, huis and drop-in events, as well as providing their feedback in writing or online. We have carefully read all your feedback. You can read a summary of the consultation and the feedback we received in our Draft Freshwater Plan Change Consultation Summary Report:

You can also read the full feedback in our feedback books. Books 1 and 2 contain the lengthier responses and Book 3 contains the shorter ones. Each book has a contents page to help you navigate.

Draft Freshwater Plan Change Consultation – Feedback | Book 1 (in three parts):

Draft Freshwater Plan Change Consultation – Feedback | Book 2 (in two parts):

Draft Freshwater Plan Change Consultation – Feedback | Book 3

What happens next

The new government has extended the deadline for council to notify its proposed plan change, the next phase of the process, from 2024 to 2027 and has signalled its intention to revise national policy on freshwater.

We do not yet know what the revised national policy might look like. What we do know is that we have major challenges with our freshwater quality, and we need a plan for improving the health of our wai.

We are using the additional time to review the feedback we received during public consultation on the draft Freshwater Plan Change and continue working with tāngata whenua and the primary sector to develop a balanced approach to freshwater management. This will make sure we are well placed to meet the new deadline and adapt to any future changes the Government makes to national freshwater policy.

The next version of the plan will be the proposed Freshwater Plan Change. The proposed plan will be informed by public feedback on the draft plan. You’ll be able to make a formal submission on the proposed plan change and present your views to an independent Freshwater Hearing Panel. We are unsure of the timing for this next step, but council has decided it will not notify the proposed Freshwater Plan Change until after the revised national policy on freshwater is released so any major government policy changes can be addressed.

Keep informed

Want to stay informed as we continue to develop the new freshwater plan? Sign up to our six-monthly newsletter by selecting Freshwater Plan Change from the options.

Freshwater plan change timeline

  • 2020-2023
    Engagement with tāngata whenua, key stakeholders, and the community; development of the draft Freshwater Plan Change.
  • 1 November 2023 - 31 March 2024
    Public consultation on the draft Freshwater Plan Change. Council is using the feedback from this consultation to help shape the proposed Freshwater Plan Change.
  • December 2027
    Deadline for council to release (notify) proposed Freshwater Plan Change, and an opportunity to make formal submissions on it. Submissions will be heard by the Freshwater Hearing Panel, which will make recommendations on content to council. Following this, council will decide whether to adopt the recommendations.