National Freshwater Conference 2018

A national dialogue on the sustainable management of New Zealand’s freshwater resources


Registration and coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
An examination of NZ’s freshwater management reform and strategic future direction
  • Analysing the latest changes to the NPS-FM, and the issues still left unaddressed by the previous government
  • Key issues on the agenda of the new government
  • Establishing a water management system in which water is effectively allocated and efficiently used
  • Understanding the requirement for consensus, compromise and leadership for effective management
Guy Salmon, Executive Director, Ecologic Foundation
Examining the latest freshwater legislative and case law developments
  • Looking into the latest amendments to the Resource Management Act and how they affect freshwater
  • Understanding the latest relevant case law developments
  • Highlighting potential issues the law fails to address
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Morning break
Panel discussion - the direction of New Zealand’s freshwater management policies
  • Discussing the latest reforms that are impacting New Zealand’s freshwater management
  • How do we deal with the problems of nitrate, phosphorous and sediment pollutants?
  • Is there a ‘best’ pollutant level to aim for in regard to healthy rivers?
  • What are the major challenges and what further changes are required?
Nic Peet, Group Manager Strategy and Regulation, Horizons Regional Council
Dr Mike Joy, Senior Researcher - Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University
Guy Salmon, Executive Director, Ecologic Foundation
Table talks - Freshwater management in New Zealand

Delegates will be invited to discuss important issues around freshwater management in New Zealand

TOPIC ONE: What are the latest challenges you are facing in regard to implementing the NPS-FM guidelines?

TOPIC TWO: Discuss possible solutions for communities/stakeholders to mitigate the effects of contaminants in the water supply

Lunch break
Case study - the Canterbury collaborative approach to water management

Canterbury has a different approach to water management with locally-based zone committees recommending ways to improve water allocation and water quality.

  • Understanding the unique demands for water in Canterbury
  • How to manage collaboration and strategy with the wide range of stakeholders involved
Miria Goodwin, Strategy Advisor -Canterbury Water Management Strategy, Environment Canterbury Regional Council
Panel Discussion: Prioritising NZ’s freshwater allocation

The growth of urban centres, environmental concerns and the protection of water for cultural and social purposes makes water prioritisation an issue of hot debate. Our panel from different sectors will discuss the issues, challenges and possible solutions to ensure sustainable management of our water resources.

  • Discussing the issues with the current water allocation and consent system
  • Understanding the unique demands and challenges faced by all sectors
  • Looking into solutions for improving and reducing degradation of our freshwater resources
Ian Mackenzie, Intensive Irrigated Farmer
Professor Jenny Webster-Brown, Professor/Director of the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, University of Canterbury/Lincoln University
Annabeth Cohen, Freshwater Conservation Advocate, Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand
Table talks - Sustainably prioritising New Zealand’s freshwater allocation

Delegates are invited to discuss their perspectives on the sustainable management of NZ’s freshwater allocation system and then report back to the group.

Afternoon break
A Māori approach to freshwater management
  • Understanding the Māori perspective on freshwater issues and discussing the concept of kaitiakitanga
  • Discussing the mechanisms, frameworks and formulas for Māori participation in protecting such a critical resource
  • Focusing on ways to form and maintain successful collaborative partnerships for all stakeholders involved
Hayden Turoa, Executive Advisor to Iwi, Government and Business
Encouraging sustainability through science

Policy makers need to be aware of the science which can measure what they are trying to achieve. A sound understanding of contaminant sources, their flow pathways and potential attenuation strategies have the potential to transform the impact we have on our freshwater. This session will focus on:

  • Identifying the three key contaminants that have been recognised as indicators of water quality
  • Recognising New Zealand’s diverse environment and potential benefits of a catchment by catchment approach
  • How to use emerging science and technology for targeted and effective water quality management measures
Dr Ranvir Singh, Associate Professor in Environmental Hydrology and Soil Science, Massey University
Summary remarks from the Chair and Networking Drinks
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Welcome back from the Chair
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
International keynote - The importance of monitoring surface water inventory

With freshwater reserves declining and sea levels rising it is critically important to our future to be able to model and manage the changes

  • The importance of monitoring global sea levels and our planet’s freshwater reserves
  • Where is the freshwater, where is it going, and how is it changing on a seasonal and annual basis?
  • How can remote-sensing help our knowledge of the water-cycle?
Dr Delwyn Moller, Principal Systems Engineer, Remote Sensing Solutions, Kea World Class New Zealander
Panel discussion - Evaluating the options of charging for commercial users of water
  • What are the options for charging commercial users for their water consumption?
  • What are the most constructive ways to use the revenue and how will it be enforced?
  • Does paying for commercial use imply water ownership rights to the revenue gatherers - and what about Iwi interests?
Kevin Counsell, Senior Consultant, NERA
Blair Keenan, Principal Economist, Waikato Regional Council
Megan Hands, Director, Land Savvy Ltd
Morning break
The effects of intensive farming and urbanisation on freshwater
  • Discussing whether land can continue to be intensified to meet economic goals while managing environmental effects
  • Discussing trends in parameters of water quality such as nitrogen, phosphorous and ammonia and outcomes for periphyton growth
  • Can science help to provide the solutions to address the problem?
Jon Roygard, Group Manager Natural Resources & Partnerships, Horizons Regional Council
Nic Peet, Group Manager Strategy and Regulation, Horizons Regional Council
Case study – the effects of the NPS-FW and climate change on water users and storage options for Wairarapa

Water Wairarapa is investigating the viability of water storage that could provide multiple benefits for the Wairarapa.

  • Looking into how the NPS-FW and associated new limits planned for water quality and quantity, and new climate change forecasts, are predicted to significantly reduce water reliability for existing water users including urban supply and environmental flows
  • Opportunities and challenges the NPS-FW provides for proposed large scale water storage schemes
  • Investigating the impact to existing water users from water resource limits and climate change, the resulting potential effects to Wairarapa, and the conundrum it poses for proposed water storage options
Michael Bassett-Foss, Project Director, Wairarapa Water Use Project & Greater Wellington Regional Council
Lunch break
Case Study -The Hinds/Hekeao managed aquifer recharge pilot project

A pilot project evaluating the use of purposeful recharge to help replenish declining groundwater levels, restore baseflows in coastal spring-fed streams (drains), and improve water quality of the underlying shallow aquifer and groundwater dependent ecosystems.

  • Looking into the collaboration between regional and local councils, DHB, and environmental advocacy groups to sustainably manage groundwater quality and quantity for the Ashburton community
  • Targeting high nitrate levels, and stabilising and restoring overallocated groundwater storage to restore baseflows to streams and rivers
  • Explaining what the data shows and the results thus far, and the community plan to develop a catchment-wide groundwater replenishment scheme
Bob Bower, Principal Hydrologist/NZ Regional Manager , Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec
The importance of fish passage management in New Zealand
  • Understanding how fish passage provides connectivity between all habitats necessary to complete freshwater fish and other instream life cycles
  • Recognising the need for a national set of guidelines relevant and practical for all stakeholders
  • How simple changes to practice can help to preserve our freshwater fish species
Paul Franklin, Freshwater Ecologist, NIWA
Public health implications of declining freshwater quality in New Zealand
  • Microbiological threats from contaminated freshwater in New Zealand
  • Health consequences of the intensification of dairying on freshwater supplies
  • Risk of drinking water outbreaks at a national level
Professor Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington
Afternoon break
Update on the Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking Water
  • What caused the gastroenteritis outbreak in August 2016 in Havelock North
  • What did the Government Inquiry identify as having gone wrong? What did the Panel say needed to change to protect public health and avoid serious outbreaks of illness caused by contaminated drinking water going forward?
  • What systemic changes has the Government Inquiry recommended? How do we work this into a consenting framework?
Nicola Ridder, Senior Associate, Buddle Findlay
A future perspective on water management
  • The importance of encouraging collaboration to manage New Zealand’s freshwater
  • Understanding the importance of the science and challenges involved
  • Advocating for a consistent national monitoring system to construct effective remedial solutions
Vaughan Payne, Chief Executive, Waikato Regional Council
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
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