The Resource Management Act (RMA) is the foundation of freshwater management in New Zealand. The primary planning ‘tools’ are policies and rules in Regional Plans. Central Government can also make national policy and regulations under the RMA.

Relevant policies and documents

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Fresh produce and freshwater

January 2024

This StoryMap explores how growers manage their freshwater risk through best practices and industry assurance programmes. It contains interactive data and compelling case studies.

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HortNZ's summary of Three Waters Reforms

April 2023

HortNZ summarised the recent changes to the Three Water Reforms, now known as the Affordable Water Reforms.

PDF, 61 KB.

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HortNZ's submission on Resource Management (Freshwater Farm Plans) Regulations 2023

February 2023

HortNZ summarised our concerns with the Freshwater Farm Plan Regulations, including the lack of public consultation.

PDF, 336 KB.

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HortNZ submission on Water Services Legislation Bill

February 2023

HortNZ wrote a submission on the Water Services Legislation Bill. The bill clarifies the functions of water services entities and defines small rural mixed-use water schemes as part of the Three Waters reforms.

PDF, 433 KB.

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Summary of HortNZ's submission on NESDW

May 2022

HortNZ wrote a submission on Government proposals to amend the National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NESDW) - as part of wider three waters reform.

PDF, 128 KB.

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HortNZ's summary of the Water Services Act

December 2021

HortNZ summarised the new rules under the Water Services Act, which sets a new regulatory framework for drinking water, to help growers determine whether they are affected.

PDF, 126 KB.

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HortNZ's submission on the Freshwater Farm Plan Regulations Discussion Document

October 2021

HortNZ commented on pathways for industry assurance programmes to facilitate freshwater farm plans.

PDF, 885 KB.

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HortNZ's summary of Essential Freshwater requirements

October 2021

Essential Freshwater is part of the Government’s Action for Healthy Waterways package. It covered a suite of new regulations including a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and National Environmental Standards for Freshwater.

PDF, 248 KB.

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HortNZ's summary of Government review of Overseer

August 2021

The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment commissioned an independent peer review of Overseer and the Government responded. HortNZ summarised the process and provided our own position in this document.

PDF, 55 KB.