Environment Southland

Gathering community values

Environment Southland has carried out work to determine the community's values and objectives for Southland's freshwater. The values are the things you think are important about water. The objectives relate to the state we want our freshwater to be in the future.

From this work, a package of values has been developed. The package was drawn together from two key sources of information:

  1. regional plans and other statutory planning documents, which contain the outputs of previous discussions from the past 20 years about what is important to Southland communities in relation to the region's waterways; and
  2. the Share your Wai community engagement campaign and focus group sessions undertaken between November 2018 and May 2019.

The Share Your Wai campaign was aimed at confirming the freshwater values identified in previous processes – making sure they were still relevant today; determining if there were any differing values that should be protected; and understanding if the values varied across different parts of the region.

The engagement campaign captured values from people across our region, including tangata whenua. In addition, there was also a separate workstream designed to gather iwi and hapu values specifically. In addition to tangata whenua being part of the wider community the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management also requires that tangata whenua values and interests are identified and reflected in the management of freshwater.

Share Your Wai

From November 2018 to May 2019, Environment Southland councillors and staff set up shop at over 40 markets, A&P shows, events and supermarkets across the region to find out more about your aspirations for our waterways.

At the various events, people were invited to put pins into the large map of Southland to highlight their special waterways.

With over 1000 responses, there were insights aplenty from the survey questions. Following the survey, a number of focus group sessions were held to delve deeper into the information and provide more direction on those values and objectives as they might relate to different parts of the region.

Read more about how the Share Your Wai campaign rolled out.

What did we find?

We confirmed 18 community values and we also found two new values which hadn’t previously been identified. They are 'Community wellbeing and connectedness' and 'Amenity and recreation'.

Click on any of the values below to learn more.

  • Southland Values: Share Your Wai
  • Ecosystem health
  • Human health for recreation
  • Natural form and character
  • Mahinga kai - Kai are safe to harvest and eat
  • Mahinga kai - Kei te ora te mauri
  • Fishing
  • Irrigation, vultivation and food production
  • Animal drinking water
  • Wai tapu
  • Water Supply
  • Commercial and industrial use
  • Hydro-electric power generation
  • Transport and Tauranga waka
  • Coastal landforms and associated processes
  • Education
  • Heritage and archaelogical values
  • Birds and marine mammals
  • Safety of people and infrastructure from hazards and climate change
  • Community wellbeing and connectedness
  • Amenity and recreation