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Te Mahere Kohinga Wai o Waimatā-Pakarae

Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment Plan

Gisborne District Council is preparing to develop a Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment Plan as part of its implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

The Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment Plan will also include the adjacent Waiomoko, Pouawa, Turihaua, Hamanatua, Wainui and Kopuawhakapata catchments within the Gisborne region. The plan will set the regulatory and non-regulatory framework for water quality and quantity within the catchment and eventually sit within the Tairāwhiti Resource Management Plan.

The Waimatā River is one of Gisborne city's three rivers that flow through the inner city area. Land use is mainly typical Gisborne hill country sheep and cattle farming with large areas of exotic forest on the steeper inland areas.

Aims of the Waimatā - Pakarae Catchment Plan

The aims for the Waimatā - Pakarae Catchment Plan include:

  • Ensure the mauri and values of waterways are recognised, protected and enhanced.
  • Ensure the interests and rights of tangata whenua are reflected in the plan.
  • Ensure residents and stakeholders have opportunities to inform how water will be managed.
  • Provide clear direction for sustainable management of freshwater in the catchment.
  • Help meet Council’s obligations under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

Community Engagement

Working with tangata whenua, stakeholders. experts and our community will help:

  • Identify issues and values of waterbodies in the catchment
  • Map freshwater management units (FMU)
  • Formulate objectives and targets for water quality and quantity
  • Set limits as rules in the regional plan
  • Outline non-regulatory projects that support achieving objectives and targets
Engagement with tangata whenua

Tikanga, matauranga, kaitakitanga and the aspirations of mana whenua are essential for designing the values, objectives, limits and activities in the catchment plan.

Initial contact has been made and we will work with tangata whenua to get their input into the catchment plan process.

Community and wider engagement

We'll hold community workshops with stakeholder groups, residents and whānau from the catchment communities.

All meetings are open to everyone.

We'll provide an online portal so that everyone can have a chance to input into the catchment plan.

Indicative timeline

October 2022Iwi, stakeholder and community meetings and hui
November - DecemberDraft plan for feedback
August 2023Final draft for public notification

About the Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment

The Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment Plan area represents 8 freshwater catchments that flow to the eastern coastline from Gisborne city at its southern extent to Waihau Bay just south of Tolaga Bay.

These catchments include:

  • the Waimatā River which is located directly north of Gisborne city,
  • the Pakarae River which is located south of Tolaga Bay,
  • several smaller catchments located along the coastal margin between the Pakarae River and Gisborne City. These catchments include the Waiomoko River, Pouawa River, Turihaua Stream, Hamanatua Stream, Wainui Stream and Kopuawhakapata Stream.

These catchments include:

  • the Waimatā River which is located directly north of Gisborne city,
  • the Pakarae River which is located south of Tolaga Bay,
  • several smaller catchments located along the coastal margin between the Pakarae River and Gisborne City. These catchments include the Waiomoko River, Pouawa River, Turihaua Stream, Hamanatua Stream, Wainui Stream and Kopuawhakapata Stream.
Their combined total area is 650km2. The 2 largest are Pakarae (243km2) and the Waimatā (227km2) catchments.

Land use across much of the wider Waimatā – Pakarae Catchment area is rural, predominantly sheep and beef farming and some areas of exotic forest in the upper Waimatā and Pakarae Catchment. In contrast, the downstream reach of the Waimatā River and the Kopuawhakapata and Wainui streams run through the Gisborne urban area.

Council has a number of water quality and bio-monitoring sites in the catchment area, which provide a snapshot of the current state of the rivers.  In summary:

  • Nitrate and Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen are very low or low (good);
  • Sediment and turbidity are generally high (poor) and do not currently meet minimum levels set in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (national bottom lines);
  • All sites have elevated levels of bacteria (E.coli) and do not meet national bottom lines;
  • Ecosystem health is variable across the catchment area, with the monitoring sites showing moderate to significant degradation.

In addition, the Wainui and Kopuawhakapata urban streams have evidence of chronic pollution including low dissolved oxygen and elevated bacteria levels.  Microbiological source tracking in some streams indicates that the E.coli are derived from a range of sources including ruminant (cattle/sheep), avian (birds/fowl), dog and human.

Further information can be found in the Waimatā-Pakarae Catchment background report.

Catchment map

Waimata Catchment

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Ask us a question - email the team at trmp@gdc.govt.nz

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