Minimum Flow Plan Change

We are taking a new approach to deliver minimum flow water plan changes to the Arrow, Manuherikia and Upper Cardrona catchments. Up to this point, we have been consulting with the community on these plan changes on an individual catchment basis. The new approach will see ORC bring this work together to notify a single plan change.

You can see all the current information on the Minimum Flow plan changes on our 'Your Say' site -

Manuherikia catchment: Integrated water management

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.

Plan Change process map

Consultation Process

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

View and download other documents of interest

Consultation 1

Consultation number 1 summary of feedback (730 KB).

These are the documents we had with us at the community drop-in sessions for Consultation 1:

Feedback form (334 KB).

Manuherikia Catchment Map (1 MB).

Manuherikia Catchment Locality Map (1 MB).

Manuherikia Groundwater Map (1 MB).

Hydrology Map (1 MB).

Fish Map (1 MB).

Water Take Map (1 MB).

Manuherikia Catchment River Flows (3MB).

Consultation 2

Consultation number 2 summary of feedback (370 KB).

These are the documents we had with us at the community drop-in sessions for Consultation 2.

Feedback form (334 KB).

FAQ (100 KB).

Surface water management options (minimum flow sites and management areas) (691 KB).

Primary allocation minimum flow options (296 KB).

Groundwater management options.

Map of current state - Surface water (5 MB).

Map of current state - Groundwater (5 MB).

Wāhi Ingoa Manuherikia Catchment (18 MB).

Management flows for aquatic ecosystems in the Manuherikia River and Dunstan Creek (2 MB).

Manuherikia Integrated Water Management - Background information (1 MB).

Referenced Reports

Alexandra Groundwater Basin Allocation Study (Sept 2012) (1.6 MB).

Groundwater Exploration in the Ida Valley (March 2012) (1.37 MB).

Manuherikia water resources summary (2009) (600 KB).

Management Flows for Aquatic Ecosystems in the Manuherikia River (Aug 2006) (773 KB).

Groundwater Allocation of the Alexandra Basin (Oct 2005) (1.59 MB).

Waterways Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Findings (Versus Research for ORC, Dec 2016) (5.03 MB).


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