Summary of first round feedback
We proposed six FMUs for the Marlborough Region based on hydrological catchments or collections of similar characterised catchments.
We asked if you thought the boundaries were appropriate for region wide freshwater management?
Most people agreed with using hydrological catchments but noted that this did result in large units and felt there should be the ability to identify and manage smaller areas.
We agree that freshwater management will need to occur across a variety of scales. We proposed to have additional management at the scale of smaller catchments and aquifer units, and potentially even down to individual waterbodies, within the context of the larger FMUs.
It is proposed that Catchment Care Units and Aquifer Management Units might be appropriate names for these smaller scale units which will sit within and make up the large FMUs.
Other feedback sort to move the “northern island” of the East Coast Complex FMU into the Awatere FMU. We agree that similar water management as the Awatere FMU would be appropriate for this area, and it should be incorporated into the Awatere FMU.
Please note that these changes to the FMUs are still proposed and without feedback from tangata whenua.
As Council, tanagta whenua and communities move together through the freshwater management process and gain further understanding of the region’s freshwater environment it may be necessary to amend or further subdivided the FMUs.
In summary region wide vision themes included:
- Future freshwater should be clean, clear, pure, and safe, healthy and pollution free.
- There should be safe water for drinking, swimming, fishing, and gathering food.
- The current state should at least be maintained with no deterioration and improved.
- The upper reaches of the region’s major waterways should be protected, and the lower reaches restored.
- There should be access to freshwater bodies for all, particularly for recreation.
- Removal of pest species and weeds, including wilding pines.
- Increases to native biodiversity, riparian habitats and species protection.
- Natural flows and behaviour are enabled.
- Traditional Māori tikanga is acknowledged and realised.
- Te mana o te Wai is upheld locally.
- Freshwater is available for irrigation use.
- Food production is valued in the region.
- There are nature-based solutions to climate change effects.
- Investigation into hydroelectric generation encouraging small scale/domestic hydro.
Specific FMU visions included:
- Water storage for the Wairau, Awatere, and East Coast Complex FMUs.
- Flood protection and tighter controls of water allocation in the Wairau FMU.
- More stringent controls for forestry activities in the Marlborough Sounds Complex and Te Hoiere / Pelorus FMUs.
- Sustainable gravel management for the Wairau, Awatere, and East Coast Complex FMUs.
- Domestic water schemes in the Marlborough Sounds Complex, Awatere and East Coast Complex FMUs.
- Diversity of land use and no over intensification of industries in the Te Hoiere / Pelorus FMU.
- Return to pre-European freshwater quality in the Waiau-toa / Clarence FMU.
You also felt that future freshwater management should.
- Be given the highest priority, have an integrated approach, and be based on naturally occurring processes.
- The precautionary principle be applied.
- Users that cause degradation pay for this through levies, rather than the clean-up being paid by future generations.
- A clear and informed balance be achieved amongst water takes, flows and volumes.
- The focus be on maintaining the current water quality within the region, while continuing to target certain ‘hotspot’ areas, a complete overhaul is not required.
- Tension between economic development and environmental values managed to favour environmental values with Council enforcing the conditions of permitted water uses.
- Sound, long sited management, not compromised by demands from water users motivated by shorter term economic perspectives.
- When restriction levels are reached, a framework that permits graduated reductions in waters that provided for the survival of rural activities and businesses and their associated communities.
- Support for ongoing development of adequate information on water volumes, flows and takes to improve knowledge with the aim of maximising the health of the rivers and aquifers.
We asked you what you valued about freshwater in Marlborough.
Almost four hundred community feedback points were made.
Each FMU’s currently identified community values will shortly be available through the FMU pages.
In summary all the compulsory values in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) were identified across the region:
- Ecosystem health.
- Human contact.
- Threatened species.
- Mahinga Kai.
The majority of the nine other values that the NPSFM requires Council to consider were also identified:
- Natural form and character.
- Drinking water supply.
- Wai tapu.
- Transport and Tauranga waka.
- Hydro-electric power generation.
- Animal drinking water.
- Irrigation, cultivation and production of food and beverages.
- Commercial and industrial use.
The exceptions were:
- Hydro-electric generation only specifically identified in the Wairau FMU.
- No commercial /industrial use and drinking water values specifically identified for the Waiau-toa / Clarence FMU.
- No wai tapu and transport and tauranga waka specifically identified for the Awatere FMU.
- No transport and tauranga waka specifically identified for Te Hoiere / Pelorus, East Coast Complex and Waiau-toa / Clarence FMUs.
Other values were also identified including:
- Recreation close to waterbodies,
- Spiritual / mental health.
- Flood management and protection.
- Firefighting purposes.
- Water storage.
- Gravel management and abstraction.
- Production of medicinal plants/Rongoa.
- Fossil hunting / geology.
Positives and Concerns
We also wanted to hear about the positives and concerns community had with the current freshwater management for the region.
You told us the following positives:
- Water allocation has been used in the region for a “very long time” when compared to other regions and this process was felt to be well managed.
- The region still contains rivers and lakes with healthy freshwater ecology, and freshwater for drinking.
- Positive advances towards improving water quality were being made through the Te Hoiere Restoration Project.
Your concerns fell into six main areas:
- River management
- Flood management - keeping river fairways clear including weed management, flood debris removal and gravel abstraction.
- Riparian management including weed management and lack of enhancement work.
- Discharges and water quality degradation
- Discharges and leaching of contaminants from land use activities.
- General waste management across local industries.
- Water supply
- Long-term integrity of domestic and irrigation supply.
- Source water protection.
- Access – Relationship of public accessibility to water bodies to efficient and safe land management by private landowners.
- NPSFM process/Resource management
- Hierarchy within the compulsory values.
- Lack of past holistic and/or balanced approach to water management.
- Recognition of the paradigm shift in water resource management.
- An understanding of the local context and history.
- Use of and payment for the water resource.
- Planning process consideration of different community sectors’ values and subsequent application of regulatory controls.
- Environmental versus economic balancing in resource management.