ORC Land and Water Regional Plan - Dunstan FMU


Dunstan FMU

We’re developing a new Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP), including specific rules and limits on water and land use in your FMU/rohe.  

We will be in your area in March 2022 to meet with your community and we'd love to hear what you want to achieve for land and water resources in your area. 

In this first stage of consultation, we’re keen to learn what you know about your catchment, and to share what we know from the science. We will then have group discussions about options for managing freshwater and land in your area. 


Next steps

There will be follow-up meetings in July 2022 and December 2022, when ORC and Kāi Tahu will present and discuss a preferred approach to water and land management with you. Check back here for meeting details nearer the time. You will also be able to give input online. 

The preferred approach will then be drafted into the FMU and rohe chapters of the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan. Once this is notified, you can make a submission saying what they like or how it can be improved. 


Consultation timeline

Otago Regional Council Land and Water Regional Plan Dunstan consultation timeline

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  • Confirm values and discuss their characteristics (to inform the setting of environmental outcomes).
  • Present environmental outcomes and management options to achieve these.
  • Present and discuss a preferred management option.
  • The whole LWRP will be notified and the public can make submissions.


About this area

Dunstan rohe map boundaries.

Map of Dunstan Rohe boundaries

Download map (PDF)

The Dunstan Rohe (which is part of the Clutha Mata Au FMU), runs from the outlets of lakes Wanaka, Wakatipu and Hawea down to Clyde dam and includes the Kawarau, Nevis, Shotover, Upper Clutha, Hawea, Cardrona, Arrow, and Lindis Rivers. Many smaller tributaries of the Clutha are also included such as the Lowburn, Amisfeild Burn, Bannock Burn and Luggate Creek.

The outflows of Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu are un-regulated whereas the outflow of Lake Hawea is controlled by the Hawea Dam. This Rohe also includes Lake Dunstan, a run of river hydro lakes created by the Clyde Dam.

These catchments contain diverse landforms from the rugged Kawarau gorge, primarily native covered Shotover catchment to extensive agriculture and fruit growing areas.

For Maori this area was part of the mahika kai network that drew them inland and was  very important as a means of transporting people and resources such as pounamu from the interior to the coast. The Rohe later supported gold mining and agricultural endeavours, creating a rich cultural heritage of structures and sites.

Situated around the south of Lake Dunstan, Cromwell is the largest urban centre. The modern economic focus of the area is largely tourism and agriculture, the latter ranging from internationally recognised viticulture and orchards to sheep and beef farming.


Science summary

Dunstan Rohe has snow-fed rivers like the Lindis, Nevis, Arrow and Cardrona, outlets from glacial-fed such as Lakes Wānaka, Hāwea and Wakatipu, and increasingly urbanised catchments such as Mill Creek which flows into the iconic Lake Hayes.

The upper reaches of Dunstan Rohe rivers generally have excellent water quality, however as the rivers flow across an increasingly urbanised or agricultural landscape the water quality becomes poorer. Lake Hayes is considered eutrophic with high nutrient concentrations, that fuel algae blooms. Some rivers, such as the Shotover River, have a naturally high suspended sediment load, due to glacial melt.

There are a number aquifers in the area, and groundwater quality monitoring results suggest generally good quality, with low E. coli and nitrate concentrations. Groundwater issues in the Hawea basins include high water use for irrigation and contamination risk of shallow bores.

There are areas with high scenic and natural character, including upland wetlands, as well as ecological values, including Nevis and Clutha Flathead Galaxiids, and the Koaro.


Economic summary

The main industries in this area are agriculture, viticulture, orcharding, hydro electricity production, recreation and tourism.


How can you stay up-to-date?

We’ll be sharing project updates and information on this webpage and in our monthly newsletter On-Streamsign up here.

Contact ORC at customerservices@orc.govt.nz or 0800 474 082.

You can also contact your local ORC councillor here.

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