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Keeping healthy waterways

Keeping healthy waterways

Updated 28 September 2018 2:48pm

Support available to landowners for a better water quality future

Waterways, no matter what shape or size, contribute to the water quality in our region. We all have a part to play in protecting them from contamination.

If you have a waterway of any kind on your property we offer support to help keep it healthy. This can involve up to $15,000 towards the cost of fencing, planting and pest control.

View David Blackwood’s story of protecting the waterway on his farm, and how he made use of advice and financial support from Greater Wellington: 

What the funding can cover

Waterways can vary in size and type from springs, to rivers, to wetlands. Funding and support is available to protect all of them, no matter how big or small.

Read our factsheet to find out more about wetlands.

Funding can cover:

  • 50% of the costs of fencing
  • 50% of the costs of pest plant control
  • 50% of the costs of planting on the margins around the waterway
  • Traps or bait stations at cost price

The maximum this can apply to is $15,000 per landowner.

The benefits are far reaching

The margins of land around a waterway act as a buffer, preventing contamination of the water. Waterways flow into one another and eventually, contaminated water will be part of our freshwater ecosystem if we don’t do something to protect it.

Planting – act as a filter, reducing the amount of nutrients and bacteria entering the water in surface runoff. Over time planting will reduce bank erosion and maintenance costs. 

Fencing – is the most effective way to remove stock from waterways and prevent contamination.

Apply for funding

A quick and easy plan

If you have your own online farm mapping tool or riparian planning tool, please create a plan that gives us a bit of information on the waterway size and area.

If you don’t have access to a planning tool we’ve developed one in partnership with Landcare Research and Dairy NZ.

Go to the Riparian Planting tool

All you have to do:

  • Enter your email address and create a password on the first page (no personal information is needed other than this to create a login)
  • Type in your address to find your property using satellite imagery
  • Save a PDF of the report at the end

Next step - email a copy of the plan or report along with your contact details to

A member of our land advisory team will be in touch.

Other steps to take

Work around water ‘hot-spots’

A spring or wetlands on your property will hold particular value as a water source or filter in our freshwater ecosystem. You could look at adjusting the grazing practices around this area so that it’s more protected, especially during winter.

Manage fertiliser and effluent applications

Check industry best-practice for the type, amount and timing of fertiliser and effluent applications. Following these will make a big difference to water quality in our region.

More detail on wetlands can be found on this page.

Meeting new water quality and quantity rules

The proposed Natural Resources Plan combines Wellington region’s five existing regional plans into a single document. It is our response to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management issued by central Government that requires all regional authorities to implement new policy to better manage water resources. Learn more about the proposed Natural Resources Plan.

Until the proposed Natural Resources Plan is adopted, resource users must still comply with rules in the proposed plan and current rules in the five existing plans.