Taiari/Taieri FMU (Freshwater Management Unit)
We are developing a Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) in partnership with Kāi Tahu whānui, and with feedback from the greater Otago community.
Join the kōrero on the proposed direction of the Plan to care for Otago's lakes, rivers and streams and guide the activities that impact them.
We have a summary of proposed new rules and regulations that we encourage you to look over.
Read all about the draft Plan and the proposed new rules and regulations:
About the area
The Taiari/Taieri Freshwater Management Unit (FMU) covers the entire Taiari/Taieri River catchment, reaching from Taiari/Taieri Mouth across the Taiari/Taieri Plain into the Strath Taiari/Taieri and Maniototo Basins.
The catchment area includes all or parts of several mountain ranges. These are the Rock and Pillar Range (1450m), Lammermoor (1160m) and Lammerlaw (1210m) Ranges, the eastern slopes of Rough Ridge (950m), the southern slopes of the Kakanui Mountains (1600m), the lower crests of Taiari/Taieri Ridge (660m), and Maukaatua (Maungatua) (895m).
The Taiari/Taieri River is the fourth-longest in Aotearoa New Zealand, draining the eastern Otago uplands and following an almost circular path from its source to the sea. Notable freshwater bodies include the Taieri River and its tributaries (e.g., the Kye Burn, Sow Burn, Deep Stream), Lakes Mahinerangi, Waipori, and Waihola, and the Scroll Plain wetlands.
The largest urban area is Mosgiel in the southeast, followed by Ranfurly and Naseby in the north.
Kāi Tahu used all areas of the Taiari/Taieri catchment, with many mahika kai (the gathering of foods and other resources, the places where they are gathered, and the practices used to gather them) sites and settlements associated with the many waterways, lakes, and wetlands in the FMU. Due to resource use and development, many water bodies, such as Taiari/Taieri Lake, are changed or lost.
Historically, European settlers used the Maniototo land for livestock as early as the 1850s. The gold rush created significant economic growth for the area around Waipiata and Kye Burn in the 1860s. A large wetland once covered the lower Taiari/Taieri, which has since been drained. The surviving wetlands of Lakes Waihola and Waipori are the remains of this extensive system.
Map of the Taieri Freshwater Management Unit
Download map (PDF)
While policies might be designed and applied specifically to the FMU, their impacts may be felt beyond the FMU/Rohe boundary. Therefore, the Upper Taieri area is combined with the Roxburgh Rohe and the Manuherekia Rohe, and are referred to as the ‘Inland’ area. The Lower Taieri area is combined with the Dunedin & Coast FMU, and are referred to as Dunedin and Surrounds. These communities have close economic ties, i.e., residents are likely to live in one of the areas while working/spending in the other areas.
In 2018, the Upper Taieri along with Roxburgh and Manuherekia was home to around 13,000 residents (6% of Otago’s population), which had increased by 15% since 2006. The economy of this area depends on the water-reliant agriculture sector (which provides for one in five jobs) and tourism related industries (15% of all jobs). Administrative Services (13%) is the third largest sector in the area; and the Employment Services sub-category provides 10% of all jobs. Together, all these industries account for around half of the employment in the ‘Inland’ area.
In 2018, the area encompassing Dunedin and surrounds was home to around 130,000 residents (or nearly 60% of the population of Otago). In the 12 years between 2006 and 2018, there was a 7% (or 8,100 people) increase in population, which is lower than the Otago Region (+16%) and New Zealand (+17%). Most residents (nearly 80%) live in Dunedin City centre area, while the remainder is split fairly evenly between Mosgiel and surrounding area (10%), and smaller towns and rural areas (10%).
The economy in Dunedin and surrounds is more diverse than other parts of the Otago Region. Residents are likely to be working in Tourism Related industries, Health Care and Social Assistance, Education and Training, Construction, or Public Administration and Safety. Employment in the primary sector is relatively small, providing around 2% of jobs. The large residential population and approximate two million visitors annually (pre-COVID 19) has been putting increasing pressure on water use (water takes and discharges of pollutants or contaminants to water) and its infrastructure.
An understanding of Māori history and Māori economy is essential for policy development and policy impact assessment. Not only does pre-European Māori history help shape modern day New Zealand, but the Māori economy is also integral to New Zealand’s economic system. ORC is partnering with Aukaha and Te Ao Marama to develop an overview of Kāi Tahu history and economy. This work will be included in the economic impact assessment, available 2023.
Roxburgh Rohe, Manuherekia Rohe and Upper Taieri Economic Snapshot
Dunedin & Coast Freshwater Management Unit and Lower Taieri Economic Snapshot