Southland Water and Land Plan – Consultation

7 Aug 15

Environment Southland (“Council”) has released a non-statutory consultation document “Towards a New Plan” in preparation for the Proposed Water and Land Plan (“the Plan”). The aim is to formally notify, and invite submissions on the Plan in early 2016; however this consultation stage is vital because it is the final chance for those in the region to influence the initial shape of the plan. Whether it be work or recreation in the Southland region, it is especially important to comment at this early stage in the process in order to guide Council towards implementing a resulting plan which is effective for you.

The primary topics covered by the consultation document relate to the quality and quantity of water in the region. The focus will be on the extraction of and discharge to freshwater, and discharging to land, with the goal to improve Southland’s water bodies. The main issues affecting water quality have been outlined by Council as being high concentrations of sediment, nutrients (particularly nitrogen), and bacteria. Council answers these issues with a focus on targeting physiographic zones with similar water qualities.

Some of the proposals of interest in the consultation document are:

  • New rules to manage water quality through high intensity farming, the key issue being the definition of low and high intensity
  • The management of critical source areas
  • Buffer zone criteria to appropriately manage intensive winter grazing
  • The exclusion of stock from all waterways, and whether riparian planting should be part of the requirements
  • Buffer zone criteria to appropriately manage cultivation on sloping land
  • The management of discharge from tile drains
  • The management of household onsite wastewater systems
  • Rules to assure the management of surface and groundwater takes
  • The retention of wetlands and biodiversity and whether these issues will be better managed through one council

We recommend that you review the consultation document, consider how the potential proposals will affect you, and comment before 30 October 2015. For a copy of the consultation document and comment template, visit

If you would like to meet with Council staff and councillors before comments are made, the following drop in sessions between 11:00am-1:30pm are being held:

Tuatupere:   Thursday 6 August, RSA Hall
Lumsden:   Tuesday 11 August, Community Hall
Gorge Road Community Centre:   Friday 14 August
Riverton:   Monday 24 August, RSA Hall
Gore:   Tuesday 1 September, James Cunning Wing
Winton:   Wednesday 9 September, RSA ANZAC Lounge
Stewart Island community centre:   Thursday 10 September
Mossburn:   Tuesday 15 September
Te Anau:   Thursday 24 September, Fiordland Community Hall
Invercargill:   Friday 9 October, Ascot Park Hotel

If you would like further information, contact our Resource Management team in Dunedin, Christchurch or Queenstown.

PDF version : Southland Water and Land Plan Consultation