This engagement was open from 1 November 2023 until 28 February 2024. Head here to read more about Oranga Wai | Our Freshwater Future and learn how you can be involved in some key changes to freshwater management in the Horizons Region.


During past engagements, our communities told us the things they wanted to see regarding their visions for wai māori (freshwater) where they live. These include:

  • The rivers of the Manawatū-Whanganui Region be home to thriving communities of tūna (eel) and other native fish
  • The awa (rivers and streams) be known as the best places to splash about over the summer
  • The rivers make hearts swell with pride across the rohe (region).

When the Essential Freshwater package launched in 2020, central government challenged local authorities and their communities to make their visions for freshwater a reality “within a generation”.

Now is the next step of our Oranga Wai | Our Freshwater Future journey, where Horizons Regional Council, alongside local iwi, hapū, communities, the primary industries and non-governmental organisations, work towards achieving the region’s visions for wai māori.

To help achieve the environmental outcomes you told us in past engagements you want to see, we have identified provisional target states (measurable goals) for the water quality of the region’s awa.

What we want from you

Share your thoughts on water quality targets by completing the survey in the tab above. You have until 5pm Thursday 28 February 2024 to fill in the survey. The survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

We would like to hear your thoughts on the following topics:

Your thoughts will help guide possible changes to Horizons’ One Plan as part of our implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM 2020).

This is a big, complex subject to discuss, so follow the links below to find the information you need to answer the questions in the survey. The survey will also link back to the information we think will be helpful to answer specific questions.

Our survey asks for feedback for individual freshwater management units (FMU). FMUs, which you can learn more about here, are how we have organised freshwater bodies across the Horizons Region. Click or tap here to find a searchable map if you need to figure out which FMU you live in.

You are welcome to provide feedback on more than one FMU - simply repeat the survey multiple times, picking a different FMU each time. If you want to give feedback on more than three FMUs, we recommend you email your thoughts to with the subject line Submission: Water quality targets.

Now is the time for you to influence the health of the region’s wai māori. Your feedback will help us develop policies that will sustain the mauri (life force) of waterways and their ecosystems, protect the places we treasure for future generations, and provide for the wellbeing of communities within environmental limits.

Best available information

Under the Resource Management Act 1991, regional councils were required to notify their draft plan changes to give effect to the NPS-FM 2020 by 31 December 2024. However, central government changes mean this is now required by 31 December 2027.

To implement the NPS-FM 2020, central government has instructed councils to use the best information available at the time and to make decisions without delay, even if there is uncertainty about the quality or quantity of the information.

While we have presented the best available information on this site, we understand some information gaps might make our communities feel uncertain. We are still conducting research and will present further findings as and when we receive them, and will provide more opportunities for our communities to give feedback on these matters.

Do the survey

Head to the dedicated Oranga Wai website