ORC Land and Water Regional Plan -Taieri FMU


Taieri FMU

We’re developing a new Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP), including rules and limits on water and land use. To reflect Otago’s different environments, we’ve divided the region into Freshwater Management Units (FMUs) or Rohe, which means "area" in Te Reo.

See the Taieri FMU area in the map below.

From late 2021 to early 2022, we asked Otago communities what they value about their local waterways in community meetings and surveys. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we held some of the consultation online.


Consultation 1 report

View the summary report of the Taieri FMU feedback received during the first consultation stage.


Taieri FMU online meeting details

The Taieri FMU was the focus of an online community meeting via Zoom on Wednesday 16 March 2022 at 7pm (the meeting was held online due to Covid-19 restrictions).

If you couldn't join us for the online meeting or would like to view the meeting again, you can view the video recording below.


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. 

Find out more about the Land and Water Regional Plan here.


About the area

Map of the Taieri Freshwater Management Unit

Map of the Taieri Freshwater Management Unit

Download map (PDF)

The Taieri FMU extends from Naseby to Mosgiel, encompassing most notably the Taieri scroll plains, Taieri River, Kyeburn tributary, Lake Mahinerangi and Lake Waipori.

Mosgiel is the largest settlement in the Taieri, with a population of just over 13,000, followed by Ranfurly and Naseby in the upper Taieri. 

Kāi Tahu used all areas of the Taieri catchment, with numerous mahika kai sites and settlements associated with the many waterways, lakes and wetlands in the Upper Taieri, the Strath Taieri and the Lower Taieri Plains. Many of these waterways have been modified, or in the case of Taieri Lake lost, as a result of resource use and development.

Historically, European settlers used the Maniototo land for livestock as early as the 1850s, while the gold rush saw significant economic growth around Waipiata and Kye Burn in the 1860s.


Science summary

The mainstem Taieri generally has some naturally-occurring nitrogen concentrations due to the nutrient-rich geology of the catchment but is also impacted by the intensive agriculture activities in the area. Some elevated bacteria results are also present.

There are also natural environmental factors that reduce water clarity in the Taieri including wetlands releasing brown tanin-stained waters, or sediment being washed into waterways during floods, even in natural catchments. 

Lakes Waihola and Waipori are at the bottom of the Taieri catchment and are nutrient-rich and extremely shallow, which makes them prone to algal blooms in summer.


Economic summary

After the 1860s Otago Gold Rush, the primary economic industry in this area changed from gold to pastoral farming, which has now become the main economic activity in the Taieri FMU.

Smaller settlements such as Tiroiti, Middlemarch and Waipiata have benefited from the tourism associated with the Otago Rail Trail cycling track and gold mining heritage.


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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