National Freshwater Conference 2019

Collaborating to create sustainable and efficient freshwater management strategies for the benefit of all New Zealanders


Registration and coffee
Mihi Whakatau
Opening remarks from the Chair
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Ministerial Address
Hon. David Parker, Minister for the Environment
Keynote Address: Solving complex environmental challenges – Lessons from the Murray-Darling Basin

The issues of ensuring freshwater quality, supply and security are shared by many countries around the world. Having indertaken extensive research into the causes and potential solutions to the Murray-Darling Basin situation, Dr Mosley gives insights into his freshwater research to help inform New Zealand’s freshwater management strategies.

  • A look into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the complex water management challenges
  • The importance of working cooperatively with different stakeholders and groups for collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Understanding how trends in other countries and global weather systems can affect a country’s freshwater resources
Dr Luke Mosley, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide & Visiting Scientist, CSIRO
Kaitiakitanga – A Māori approach to freshwater management

Kaitiakitanga is an important concept within Māori and New Zealand thought. It is a way of managing the environment in a sustainable manner based on the Māori world view.

  • Discussing the concept of kaitiakitanga and why it is important
  • What are the mechanisms and frameworks for Māori participation in managing and protecting New Zealand’s freshwater resources
  • How can strong collaborative and successful partnerships be formed that are beneficial for all stakeholders involved
Eugene Berryman-Kamp, Tumu Whakarae - CEO, Te Arawa River Iwi Trust
Morning Break
Current developments in freshwater legislation and how these will affect all stakeholders

A candid examination of the important developments surrounding freshwater regulation and legislation, with a look at NPSFM, the relevant NES that deal with freshwater management, and other RMA regulatory changes.

  • Exploring the effects that current developments have had on existing management strategies
  • Acknowledging the successes of the new regulations and highlighting potential challenges in implementation
  • Drawing attention to potential issues that current legislation fails to cover
Ezekiel Hudspith, Senior Associate, Kensington Swan
Freshwater security for future generations – the conundrum facing wastewater discharges to surface water and land

Over 75% of New Zealand’s municipal wastewater discharges are to waterways, yet regional policies promote discharge to land as a priority. The complexity and practicality of land application of municipal wastewater is challenging despite desires of most New Zealanders to see no surface water discharges.

  • Balancing cultural preferences for land and water application
  • What to do when policies suggest an approach that is at odds with the best practice outcomes
  • How is this affecting New Zealand’s freshwater supply and security?
  • Who pays the costs when the local community cannot afford proper treatment measures?
Hamish Lowe, Principal Environmental Scientist, Lowe Environmental Impact
Investigating freshwater sustainability within an ecologically sound framework

Collaboration intends to create an outcome that is mutually acceptable, but the process can result in ecological health being an afterthought.

  • What is required under current freshwater regulations and what changes are needed to ensure ecosystem is achievable?
  • How do national regulations effect regional and community limit setting?
  • What are the challenges we face with climate change?
  • How can ecological health help ensure security of supply in the face of climate change?
Annabeth Cohen, Freshwater Conservation Advocate, Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand
Lunch Break
Case Study: Farmers leading the way with environmentally sound practices

Richard explores cases where farms within a catchment are going beyond what is required to ensure that they don’t have a negative impact on the freshwater continuum.

  • Transforming the sector and encouraging collaboration
  • Lessons learnt and how freshwater management strategies were adjusted
  • What is the future direction of farming and what is already in the planning?
Richard Parkes, Environment Capability Manager - North Island, Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Case Study: LAWA’s nationwide freshwater data hub

Until recently, the majority of New Zealand’s environmental scientific and research data was not shared in a nationally consistent and transparent manner. LAWA (Land, Air, Water, Aotearoa) was launched in 2014 to address these issues, and has since worked hard to provide a credible, one stop location for the latest data and information on New Zealand’s environmental resources.

Michael Kelly, Principal Designer, Open Lab – Massey University
Afternoon Break
Emerging technologies and strategies for efficient freshwater management
  • Utilising science to safely and effectively clean up water ways
  • Technology helping the agriculture sector to make better use of their freshwater resources
  • Using science to positively influence and preempt future freshwater supply issues
Dr MS Srinivasan, Principal Scientist - Catchment Hydrology, NIWA
Dr Neale Hudson, Environmental Chemist & Manager - Catchment Processes Group, NIWA
Table Talks: Rural freshwater management in New Zealand

Delegates are invited to discuss amongst themselves important issues around New Zealand’s rural freshwater situation.

Closing address: Freshwater – Getting better one step at a time

Guy shares how New Zealand’s freshwater continuum was the source of great concern and much finger pointing. In recent years, New Zealanders from all sectors and parts of New Zealand have worked together to improve the quality of the supply and the cleanliness of many waterways for the benefit of both business and recreational users.

  • Case studies and what can we learn from them?
  • The importance of national dialogue in helping bring about this change
Guy Salmon, Executive Director, Ecologic Foundation
Summary remarks from the Chair & Networking Drinks
Welcome back from the Chair
David Allen, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Opening address: Three waters investment and future proofing

The current state of New Zealand’s three water management scene is unsustainable in its current form, and the cracks in the system are already showing. Careful planning, investment and possible restructuring are needed. How this is done will decide the future of the freshwater scene.

Dr Mike Joy, Senior Researcher - Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University
The growing urban impact on the freshwater continuum

The growth of New Zealand’s urban centres is having an undeniable effect on our shared freshwater continuum.

  • Exploring ways in which rural and urban freshwater systems interact with and influence each other
  • A scientific breakdown on the ways modern life affects freshwater resources
  • What is the best way forward towards sustainability?
Dr Kalyan Chakravarthy, Principal Water Quality Scientist, DHI Water & Environment (New Zealand)
Morning Break
Freshwater disaster management and planning for the future

In August 2016, the suburb of Havelock North experienced New Zealand's largest recorded outbreak of waterborne disease. Since then, the Hastings District Council has worked towards ensuring that a future repeat won't happen again.

  • Lessons learnt and how they have moved to address them
  • Opportunities encountered for collaboration with other members of the freshwater continuum to minimalise future freshwater contaminations
  • Future-proofing current the system to ensure a reliable and clean freshwater supply for future population growth
Brett Chapman, Water Services Manager, Hastings District Council
Challenges in consenting future municipal wastewater discharges

While the discussion around improving New Zealand’s freshwater outcomes has tended to focus on environmental, cultural, and rural issues the question of the implication for and impacts of municipal wastewater management often gets overlooked. 

  • Challenges facing regional and local government bodies in terms of regulation and community expectation
  • The different pathways, risks and opportunities for local government in managing future wastewater discharges
Garry Macdonald, Market Segment Director, Beca
Garrett Hall, Technical Director – Environments, Beca
Table Talks: The urban-rural freshwater continuum

Delegates are invited to discuss amongst themselves the issues faced by all users along New Zealand’s freshwater continuums.

Lunch Break
Panel discussion: How broader stakeholder input can affect decision making for the better
  • In what ways are different sectors of New Zealand working together to better manage local freshwater resources?
  • What lessons have been learnt during these collaborative efforts?
  • What is planned to build on these initiatives?
Vanessa Tipoki, Environmental Planner, Perception Planning
Rachael Moore, Industry Advocate, Tourism Industry Aotearoa
Eugene Berryman-Kamp, Tumu Whakarae - CEO, Te Arawa River Iwi Trust
Case study: "Whakamarohitia nga wai o Waikato – Rejuvenate the waters of the Waikato" - Te Arawa River Iwi's successful and enduring freshwater collaboration

Te Arawa River Iwi Trust (TARIT) represents the interest of the three Te Arawa River iwi within the upper Waikato river catchment.  TARIT’s role is to represent Te Arawa river iwi in the co-management framework for the Waikato river and its legislation was passed in 2010.  The Treaty of Waitangi and the partnership between Maori and non-Maori plays an important role not just within New Zealand’s past, but its future, too. This is especially true when natural resources, such as freshwater, are concerned. The Waikato River is one of New Zealand’s most important sources of freshwater and provides freshwater to a large portion of the North Island. Ensuring that this is managed properly requires collaboration between many different partners which is helping to ensure future freshwater supply and quality.

  • How, where and why did the collaboration start?
  • Best practice strategies for collaboration to achieve sustainable outcomes
  • Lessons learnt over the years and what has been done to remedy any issues
Eugene Berryman-Kamp, Tumu Whakarae - CEO, Te Arawa River Iwi Trust
Afternoon Break
The importance of clean freshwater for business and recreational users

Despite making up a sizeable chunk of freshwater users, the business and recreational users are often forgotten about in the freshwater discussion. Exploring freshwater issues and concerns facing these sectors and how these impact on the wider economy.

  • The knock-on effects that unclean waterways are having on the wider economy and how healthy waterways can bring added benefits to all sectors
  • Cross-sector collaborative efforts undertaken by businesses and recreational users to ensure a return to healthy waterways
  • Challenges faced and lessons learnt
Rachael Moore, Industry Advocate, Tourism Industry Aotearoa
Closing Keynote: The freshwater management system that New Zealand deserves

Like many other developed countries around the World, New Zealand’s water ways have not been given the attention and care that they should have been afforded during the years of development. This is not a curse, it is an opportunity for all of New Zealand to come together and work towards a better managed freshwater system that covers all aspects of the freshwater continuum.

Lian Butcher, Director of Aquatic, Department of Conservation
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
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