ORC Land and Water Regional Plan - Lower Clutha Rohe


Lower Clutha rohe

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 April 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 a follow-up meeting in August 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 Lower Clutha consultation timeline

Click to enlarge or download.



  • 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 the area

Lower Clutha rohe map boundaries.

Download map (PDF)

In this Rohe the Clutha Mata-au runs unobstructed from Roxburgh dam to the sea. It includes the Pomahaka catchment, as well as a number of other river catchments that feed the Clutha Mata-au including Tuapeka, Waitahuna, Waiwera, the Benger Burn, Beaumont River, Tuapeka and Waitahuna catchments, and a number of smaller tributaries.

The rohe also includes Lake Tuakitoto, a small shallow lake with an adjoining wetland of a type now rare in Otago.

The Clutha Mata-au River is important in Kāi Tahu traditions and history and there is an ongoing relationship of mana whenua with wāhi tupuna and mahika kai values. The river and its tributaries supported seasonal settlements and plentiful mahika kai. The Pomahaka River was an important for people settled in the Catlins and Tautuku areas, and the coastal area at the mouth of the Mata-au/Clutha River offered a bounty of mahika kai, including eeling and harvest of other freshwater fish in lagoons and up the river. 

The rohe encompasses the urban centres of Roxburgh, Lawrence and Balclutha. The Otago goldrush began in Gabriel’s Gully near Lawrence, and the rohe still contains reminders of its mining past. This, and the history of agriculture, as well as coal mining in Kaitangata, gives the area many heritage sites.

Predominant land cover throughout the Rohe is high producing grassland. The majority of intensive agriculture occurs in the middle to lower catchment.


Science summary

The section of the Clutha/Mata-Au in this rohe has good water quality, as do the tributaries in their upper reaches. However some  tributaries have poorer water quality in their lower reaches.

There are threatened species in various upper catchments (Clutha flatheads, Dusky Galaxiids, Lamprey, Pomahaka Galaxiids), and Giant Kokopu in Lake Tuakitoto. Wetlands in the area are also home to threatened species including bittern, dotterel, crakes, and swamp nettle.


Economic summary

The main economic activity in the rohe is agriculture including sheep, beef and dairy in the lower part of the rohe, and orchards around Ettrick, Roxburgh and Millers Flat. There is coal mining at Kaitangata.  Tourists are attracted to the area for hunting, nature tourism and renowned fishing on the Pomahaka.


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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