Te Mana o te Wai – the vital importance and health of our water – is part of Otago’s collective well-being and future sustainability. The health of some of our waterways is excellent, but others need improving. This is important because Otago’s waterways support all life from threatened native fish, the mahika kai we collect and the swimming holes we love, to how we earn our living and enjoy clean groundwater. 

Te Mana o te Wai is about respecting and looking after the water, so the water can look after you. It also recognises that mana whenua, councils, water users and the wider community all have a role in managing freshwater. 

The new Land and Water Plan will be based on a whole-of-catchment approach – ki uta ki tai – that is consistent with Te Mana o te Wai and prioritises the health and well-being of waterbodies.