Te Mahere Wai recommendations
Ngā taunaki are the recommendations made by Te Kāhui Taiao to support Mana Whenua values and environmental outcomes for ngā awa in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Te Mahere Wai o Te Kāhui Taiao
A Mana Whenua whaitua implementation plan to return mana to our freshwater bodies. Read more here
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See interactive maps, detailed descriptions, photos and water health targets for the catchment areas.
The recommendations complement those in the Whaitua Implementation Programme and are focused on actions under the following headings:
1. The rights and interests of Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa Rangatira in freshwater are acknowledged by Greater Wellington.
2. Mana Whenua are resourced to help complete the National Objectives Framework (NOF) process set out in section 3.7 of the NPSFM 2020 for Te Whanganui-a-Tara that includes:
2.1. articulating additional attributes for Mana Whenua values,
2.2. identifying baseline states for attributes,
2.3. setting additional target attribute states for the different Wāhi Wai Māori Freshwater Management Units (FMUs),
2.4. setting environmental flows, levels and limits for the major rivers, small streams and aquifers,
2.5. articulating limits, management methods and mātauranga Māori monitoring measures,
2.6. agreeing a new quantum for permitted water takes,
2.7. addressing non-municipal water supply, and
2.8. completing the Te Oranga Wai attributes for freshwater and coastal receiving environments for inclusion in the Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP) as part of the 2022 and 2024 plan changes.
3. Identify and restore wai ora in all freshwater and coastal receiving environments in Te Whanganui-a-Tara by 2071.
4. Develop a wai ora measure that identifies the baseline state of wai ora from the mātāpuna (headwaters) through to takutai moana (the sea).
5. Mana Whenua are resourced to develop and implement a measurement framework for mahinga kai as a compulsory value in the NPSFM 2020 by 2025. The framework will be central to Greater Wellington monitoring and will provide ongoing mahinga kai measurement for both water quality and quantity across eight spatial areas identified in Te Mahere Wai. The measurement framework will identify baseline states, attributes and target states for: taonga species, mahinga kai areas, and mahinga kai activities.
6. Develop a whaitua-scale (catchment-scale) Mana Whenua monitoring and reporting framework for mahinga kai.
7. The mainstream Whaitua Implementation Programme relies on Te Mahere Wai and ongoing Mana Whenua implementation to provide the assessment of compulsory mahinga kai values required in the NPSFM 2020. It is recommended that Greater Wellington implement all mahinga kai recommendations to give effect to national policy directives.
8. Te Korokoro o te Mana (Korokoro Stream), Te Manga o Kaiwharawhara (including Te Māhanga and Korimako Streams) and Wainuiomata are prioritised for protection and restoration.
9. The Korokoro and Kaiwharawhara Streams, and the entire length of the Wainuiomata Awa are designated as outstanding waterbodies in Schedule A: Outstanding Water Bodies of the Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP).
10. Te Awa Kairangi, Akatārawa, Pākuratahi, Whakatīkei, Wainuiomata, Te Awa o Ōrongorongo and the Parangārehu Lakes are classified as areas that have outstanding natural character in the PNRP.
11. The Korokoro and Kaiwharawhara Streams and the entire length of the Wainuiomata Awa, are taonga and should be protected and restored by conferring a legal personhood on each.
12. Greater Wellington work in partnership with Mana Whenua, Lower Hutt City Council, KiwiRail and Waka Kotahi to reinstate mai uta ki tai (from the inland to sea) pedestrian access between Honiana Te Puni reserve and Korokoro Stream.
13. Mana Whenua are resourced to implement Te Mahere Wai and are active and have an integral presence as Ngā Mangai Waiora (ambassadors for water) in whaitua monitoring and management of their freshwater taonga.
14. Greater Wellington enter into a partnered management agreement with Mana Whenua so that they are actively involved in all freshwater management decision-making processes in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. This includes giving effect to Te Mana o te Wai at a local level and developing, monitoring and implementing the Whaitua Te Whanganui-a-Tara Whaitua Implementation Programme (WIP).
15. Greater Wellington resources iwi management plans and joint management agreements under section 36B of the RMA where appropriate.
16. Greater Wellington delegates its powers under section 33 of the RMA to Mana Whenua (where agreed) to make decisions around freshwater management that includes (but is not limited to) monitoring of awa, and enforcement of resource consent conditions.
17. Greater Wellington establishes a permanent Mana Whenua decision-making rōpū (group) to help develop and implement the Whaitua Implementation Programme and Te Mahere Wai.
18. Greater Wellington and Mana Whenua agree the rating resource to be allocated and managed by Mana Whenua for the management of Ngā Awa Tupua within Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
19. Greater Wellington supports the establishment of, and provides operational funding for, a Mana Whenua kaitiaki monitoring and management programme like Ngā Mangai Waiora (ambassadors for water).
20. Greater Wellington will support the implementation of Te Mahere Wai and the Whaitua Implementation Programme through the establishment of mātauranga Māori expertise within the organisation.
21. Mana Whenua are resourced to undertake a review of traditional Māori-names across Te Whanganui-a-Tara water bodies in order to promote their correct usage and retention and, where possible, restore traditional names that have been lost.
22. Activities affecting water quality will ensure that the water quality standards set in the PNRP, or the A band attribute state in the NPSFM 2020, whatever is more stringent, are achieved.
23. Greater Wellington will prioritise removing the discharge of human effluent and waste to freshwater and coastal waterbodies.
24. All waterbodies and wetlands in Te Whanganui-a-Tara have planted riparian margins.
25. The steep rural land within the Southwest Coast Wāhi Wai Māori (FMU) is retired to allow native forest regeneration.
26. There are no discharges (point source or non-point source) that impact on water quality standards that are set.
27. Greater Wellington along with partners, including Mana Whenua and district councils, develop a plan to remove all direct wastewater discharges to freshwater within a generation (20 years).
28. Greater Wellington immediately:
28.1. reviews all consented direct point discharges to freshwater, particularly the Silverstream discharge to Te Awa Kairangi, and discharges to the Karori and Waiwhetū Streams,
28.2. review all non-consented direct point discharges that includes monitoring and remediation.
29. Kaiwharawhara, Korokoro, Wainuiomata and Black Creek are prioritised for an audit of cross connections.
30. Sanitation systems like septic tanks are audited for a number of parameters including system design, age, structural integrity, soil type and maintenance issues.
31. Septic tanks are required to undergo a warrant of fitness (WOF) check where an onsite servicing specialist undertakes a regular WOF service and performance check.
32. Stormwater is captured and treated and, where possible, utilised as a resource. Where released to streams, it is released in a manner aligned with natural flow regimes.
33. Greater Wellington along with partners, including Mana Whenua and district councils works to remove all untreated wastewater discharges to takutai moana (the sea), within a generation (20 years).
34. Greater Wellington will immediately:
34.1. identify the impacts of wastewater discharges on public health,
34.2. identify the impacts of wastewater discharges on mahinga kai, customary use, and Mana Whenua sites of significance through viral and faecal coliforms flesh testing of taonga species, and
34.3. resource science and mātauranga Māori capacity and capability to ensure that coastal discharges are monitored by Mana Whenua, managed and remediated.
35. Greater Wellington develop a wastewater management innovation programme that includes incentivising alternate waste disposal, such as:
35.1. establishing incentivised compost toilet programmes including a rates rebate for those who disconnect their black water,
35.2. decoupling trade waste from domestic waste that includes onsite trade waste management innovation programmes; reviews and enhances pre-treatment requirements for trade waste and stormwater from industrial/commercial sites; and penalises non-compliance.
36. Water takes are managed in a way that allows all rivers and streams to be healthy and flourishing. Natural flow variability is protected, long periods of low flow are avoided, and the natural movement of water and sediment through the awa is maintained.
37. Greater Wellington and Mana Whenua establishes a decision-making framework for identifying environmental flows and levels, cultural flows and flow variability for all water bodies in Te Whanganui-a-Tara by 2024.
38. Cultural flows must be accounted for, before setting allocation limits.
39. Greater Wellington and Mana Whenua are resourced to monitor and collect data that will inform water allocation and the setting of limits to achieve Te Mana o te Wai for every waterbody in Te Whanganui-a-Tara by 2024. The limits must be expressed as rules in the PNRP and will need to provide for environmental flows, levels and variability of flows and must clearly articulate:
39.1. the amount of water that can be taken,
39.2. the extent of flow variability,
39.3. how to safeguard ecosystem health from extended low flows,
39.4. life cycle needs, particularly for native diadromous fish species and their need for connectivity between the sea and land (and riverbed to banks when spawning during high-flow events),
39.5. total volume and total rate, and
39.6. cease and restrict limits.
40. The limits for all streams outside the major water supply catchments are apportioned 100% Mean Annual Low Flow (MALF) for the minimum flow and 30% of MALF for the allocation amount.
41. The new minimum flow of 100% of MALF is to be implemented for small streams in the upcoming regional plan change and applied when existing consents are reviewed or new applications are received.
42. Water quantity management must achieve 90% of MALF across all main-stem waterbodies by 2071.
43. The minimum flow levels for Te Awa Kairangi are lifted to achieve 80% of MALF by 2050.
44. All existing water take consents are reviewed to ensure the new limits are applied to existing consents.
45. Place minimum flow limits on the 25 or so consented takes in Te Awa Kairangi that have no minimum flow and monitor and meter each.
46. All water takes in the region are metered, including takes below 5 litres per second.
47. All consented takes have electronic meters by 2027.
48. The permitted take rule in the PNRP is removed so that takes above those allowed in section 14(3)(b) of the RMA will require resource consent.
49. Greater Wellington works with Mana Whenua to clarify the meaning of “reasonable domestic use” and “stock drinking water” takes outlined in the RMA.
50. All small streams are monitored for flow.
51. Te Awa Kairangi, Ōrongorongo and Wainuiomata are publicly acknowledged for supplying all the potable water utilised by the communities of Te Awarua o Porirua Whaitua. This is 12% of all water taken from these rivers.
52. A new water allocation model will include a specific iwi allocation.
53. There is a rāhui (moratorium) on all future water takes, reducing the limit to existing consented amounts.
54. The transfer of water consents and takes is prohibited.
55. A “sinking lid” approach is applied to clawback allocation, where lapsed consents have their apportioned take returned to the awa or iwi as a right of first refusal.
56. Greater Wellington provides resourcing to strengthen compliance and enforcement of water takes, particularly those from or adjoining small streams.
57. Domestic water supply is prioritised over commercial use as articulated in the NPSFM 2020 hierarchy of obligations.
58. Commercial users must explore ways to use water more efficiently to reduce their water take.
59. Commercial takes reduce and cease during times of low flow.
60. A partnered management approach is adopted so that Mana Whenua have a meaningful role in developing, applying, monitoring and enforcing best practice holistic care for rivers.
61. Greater Wellington works with Mana Whenua to review the design channel, buffer zones and optimum bed levels in the relevant floodplain management plans for Te Awa Kairangi and Wainuiomata Awa.
62. Greater Wellington works with Mana Whenua to incorporate managed retreat and positive engineering options into the floodplain management plans for Te Awa Kairangi and Wainuiomata Awa.
63. Greater Wellington resources managed-retreat expertise in each level of decision-making.
64. The existing global flood protection consent is reviewed so that it gives effect to Te Mana o te Wai, by putting the needs of the river first.
65. Small streams are the “forgotten streams” in rural and urban areas that are extensive, steep and very vulnerable to stock. Under the existing regime, they are unmanaged and this is an anomaly. Because the streams are small, they are vulnerable to access by cattle and horses even at low stocking rates. The topography means that they are not required to be fenced because of the steep slope. We recommend stock exclusion is addressed through the farm plan process on a case-by-case basis.
66. Greater Wellington will work with Mana Whenua to:
66.1. exclude cattle and horses through farm plan processes,
66.2. establish environmental flows and limits for āku waiheke (small streams),
66.3. determine the health of mahinga kai species,
66.4. investigate unconsented takes, and
66.5. require resource consents for any new domestic take where the impact cannot be assessed.
67. Marginal land on the southwest coast is retired to protect āku waiheke and te mātapuna and the receiving coastal environment.
68. Cattle are excluded from all small stream catchments in the southwest coast within five years.
69. Farming cattle in vulnerable catchments is not a permitted activity in the PNRP.
70. Greater Wellington works with Mana Whenua to name all āku waiheke and ngā wai huna (concealed waters) that are not named, or have anglicised names, with traditional Māori names.
71. Greater Wellington works with Mana Whenua to identify and map āku waiheke and ngā wai huna.
72. Greater Wellington works with Mana Whenua to daylight ngā wai huna where appropriate.
73. The ecological and cultural values of ngā wai huna (concealed waters) are given the same level of protection as natural streams and waterways.
74. Culverts, weirs and dams must allow for native fish migration, but block trout and pest fish access to uninvaded areas.
75. Te mātāpuna are revered, protected and restored as the ultimate sources of mauri/mouri for freshwater.
76. All plantation forestry near te mātāpuna must have harvest plans in place by 2026 that:
76.1. are approved by Mana Whenua,
76.2. include Mana Whenua values and environmental outcomes in Te Whanganui-a-Tara,
76.3. meet best practice management requirements, including the use of riparian buffers,
76.4. prohibit the use of ecotoxic chemicals to poison vegetation,
76.5. prohibit blanket spraying of vegetation,
76.6. incorporate promote and incentivise selective felling,
76.7. promote the regeneration of native vegetation in the headwaters, and
76.8. are monitored regularly for compliance by Mana Whenua and Greater Wellington.
77. This includes all Greater Wellington land that is currently in use for plantation forestry.
78. There is no harvesting of the existing pine plantation forestry in the Korokoro Wāhi Wai Māori (FMU).
79. Greater Wellington and Mana Whenua work together to monitor the ecological function of Te Awa Kairangi aquifers using mātauranga Māori knowledge, and the monitoring of stygofauna.
80. Aquifer wells in Te Whanganui-a-Tara by Matiu/Somes Island are continuously monitored.
81. On the southwest coast, seabird taonga species such as kororā (penguins) and tītī (muttonbirds) are monitored, including for abundance and size to measure ecosystem health.
82. Greater Wellington will share decision-making with Mana Whenua so that they are actively involved in determining whether a resource consent application for an activity near or on Mana Whenua sites of significance is more than minor.
83. Greater Wellington will share decision-making with Mana Whenua so that they are actively involved in the restoration and protection of Mana Whenua sites of significance.
84. Rōpu (group) Tiaki Mana Whenua and their iwi boards have tino rangatiratanga for setting priorities and visions for the lakes.
85. The current monitoring programme for the lakes is expanded and resourced so that it includes identifying attributes and baseline states for assessing achievement of Mana Whenua environmental outcomes.
86. Public access to the lakes is reviewed by Mana Whenua and Greater Wellington to address Mana Whenua concerns, particularly around the introduction of invasive species. Visitors (walkers and cyclists) to the lakes area must undertake biosecurity controls when entering the area.
87. The monitoring of taonga species is increased to support the long-term vision of sustainable cultural harvest of tuna and other valued species for special occasions like tangihanga.
88. Greater Wellington continues to resource investigations to understand the ecological and water quality baseline for the lakes, including their connectivity to the sea, expected species and underlying soil characteristics by 2035.
89. Pest management is addressed to accelerate the improvement and restoration of the lakes.
90. Stock exclusion from waterways is prioritised in the area, and Greater Wellington will provide support to affected landowners in its implementation.
91. Greater Wellington resources and supports Mana Whenua-led mātauranga Māori monitoring and care of the lakes and the whaitua/catchment.
92. If the historical material (post-earthquake) suggests connectivity to the sea for Lake Kōhangapiripiri, then Greater Wellington and Mana Whenua will develop and implement a plan for reinstating the lakes’ natural ability to breach out to the sea.
93. That a public report card/dashboard tool is established for the lakes to clearly communicate the degree of achievement of the targets and outcomes. This could include mātauranga attributes.
94. All-natural wetlands (including degraded wetlands) within Te Whanganui-a-Tara regardless of size are mapped and protected by Greater Wellington.
95. All wetland margins adjoining natural and induced wetlands with outstanding indigenous biodiversity are:
95.1. mapped by Greater Wellington,
95.2. restored so that they are once again a functioning part of the main wetland, and are
95.3. protected by including them in Schedule A3: Wetlands with outstanding indigenous biodiversity values of the PNRP.
96. The area of land contiguous to any existing wetland that is scheduled as a wetland with outstanding indigenous biodiversity values, that includes (but is not limited to) the Maymorn Wetlands and Mount Cone Turfs is also captured within Schedule A3: Wetlands with outstanding indigenous biodiversity values of the PNRP.
97. All of the repo (wetland) in the Parangārehu Lakes area are classified as wetlands with outstanding indigenous biodiversity values in Schedule A3 of the PNRP.
98. Greater Wellington reviews all existing consent conditions that apply to an activity within 500 metres of an awa so that they reflect allocation limits and water quality standards in the PNRP Operative Rules, and give effect to Te Mana o te Wai as required in the NPSFM 2020.
99. Greater Wellington adopts a community whaitua restorative approach that punishes polluters and makes them directly answerable to the affected water body and its community. This could include the payment of damages to restore the affected area and its values. Any fines resulting from prosecution will be spent within the affected whaitua.
100. Greater Wellington lobbies central government to remove the cap on fines so that they are able to be set at a level commensurate with the effect of the damage incurred.
101. Greater Wellington adopts best management practice for managing its land that includes fencing waterways, retiring marginal land, addressing pine plantation forestry activities that affect water quality, and moving away from hard engineering options for flood management.
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