Manuherekia Rohe

(Please note, ORC uses the Kai Tahu spelling of Manuherekia)

Under national legislation, regional councils must manage waterways at an appropriate scale for setting freshwater objectives and limits.

ORC has therefore set five Freshwater Management Units (FMUs). As the Clutha Mata-Au FMU is large, it has been further divided into five rohe (areas), one of which is the Manuherekia Rohe – based on the catchment area of the Manuherekia River. 

Work between the community and ORC to develop specific objectives, policies and rules to manage water in the rohe started in 2019. A key part of the work for this rohe involves the Manuherekia Reference Group (MRG), which is made up of a range of key stakeholders who ORC meet with monthly. 

The MRG represent the wide ranging interests of the community and have assisted ORC to develop options for water flow management which are now being discussed with the wider community (details below).


Manuherekia Water Management Scenarios consultation 2021

Between 17 May and 18 June, ORC asked for feedback from the community on five Manuherekia Water Management scenarios. Two public meetings were held in Alexandra and Omakau.

We received over 1,000 submissions supporting a range of flow options for the river.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to consider the options, attend public meetings, and make a submission on the scenarios.

You can view a summary report of the submissions, as well as the full set of submissions, below. Read the media release here.

Council’s decision on a management scenario for the Manuherekia River will be made when it notifies the Land and Water Regional Plan at the end of 2023, at which point the public will be able to have their say through submissions and hearings.

To view the consultation brochure and technical information about the Manuherekia Water Management Scenarios, visit the closed YourSay page here.


Managing the quantity of surface and groundwater resources of the Manuherikia catchment.

What is this about?

Otago Regional Council is developing a plan change for setting environmental flows (including minimum flows and levels) for rivers and groundwater in Otago as required by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM). Once set, the minimum flows are included in the Regional Plan: Water for Otago (Water Plan). You can view the current minimum flows and levels in Schedule 2A of the Water Plan in the document below.

Schedule 2A of the Water Plan (56 KB).

Setting these environmental flows achieve a balance between protecting the environment, providing for recreation, and allowing the taking of water for private or commercial use.

We are currently developing a change to the Water Plan to set these flows and limits in the Manuherikia catchment. This will apply to the Manuherikia River, its tributaries (smaller streams that flow in to the river), and the aquifers (groundwater) that are connected to them. It’s a really important process and the community are a key part of developing the management option put forward in developing the plan change.

What stage are we up to?

We have summarised the second stage of community consultation and this is available below.

Consultation number 2 summary of feedback (419 KB)

We are commissioning cultural, economic, and social reports. Once we have these we will then consider all of the specialist reports and public feedback to develop the preferred management option and the consultation draft plan change. Once this work is complete we will seek your feedback on this at Consultation 3.

How can the community get involved

There are three opportunities to be involved in the development of the plan change, and more once the Plan Change is publically notified for formal submissions.

Check out the Consultation Process section down below and also the plan change process map below. The map sets out the process for developing the plan change and shows when your input comes in.

Click here to view a PDF of the process below.

Consultation 1

In August 2016 we started the first of three stages of public consultation which help shape the development of the plan change for Manuherikia Catchment Integrated Water Management. We asked people to identify what they value about water in the catchment and whether they had concerns about its current state.

Consultation number 1 summary of feedback (730 KB).

Consultation 2

Based on your feedback from the first stage of consultation and our research, we developed several options for managing water quantity in the catchment. We sought feedback from you on these options to find out what you thought about them, which option you prefer and the reasons why.

Consultation number 2 summary of feedback (419 KB).

Consultation 3

We will seek your feedback on the consultation draft plan change which will include the cultural, social and economic reports at Consultation 3.

Proposed Plan Change Notification

We will finalise the proposed plan change and notify it. You will be able to make formal submissions and further submissions under the Resource Management Act process.

Want to talk or write to a person?

If you have some questions or just want to talk to someone about your views, simply contact Denise Anderson or Julia Briggs on 0800 474 082, or email

Work between the community and ORC to develop specific objectives, policies and rules to manage water in the rohe started in 2019, with online and in-person consultation on values and the outcomes the community want for waterways in the rohe. You can read a summary of this consultation here and the full report here. The 2019 consultation builds on previous consultations that focussed on minimum flow setting.

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