​Proposed new rules and regulations for the North Otago Freshwater Management Unit (FMU)

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Environmental outcomes

Target attribute states

FMU provisions

Environmental flows and levels and limits on take, diversion and damming of water

Lakes

River catchments

Aquifers

Outstanding water bodies

Economic profile and snapshot

 

 

 

 

This summary provides an overview of the provisions relating to the North Otago Freshwater Management Unit (FMU). This includes environmental outcomes, target attribute states and area-specific rules and limits. The rules and limits are in addition to those in the region-wide rules covered in the other summaries.

If you are unsure of any particular terms, there is a ​​glossary of terms.

Recent content updates:

  • 26 September 2023:
    • Added proposed environmental flows, level and take limits for lakes, rivers and aquifers and added information regarding whether further allocation of water is available
  • 25 September 2023:
    • Added North Otago FMU boundary map
  • 24 September 2023:
    • Added timeframe for achieving the environmental outcomes for target attribute states
    • Added information regarding 'matters of control' in table 2
  • 21 September 2023:
    • Updated environmental flow rates and take limits for the Kākaunui catchment
  • 18 September 2023:
    • Updated environmental flow rates and take limits for the Kākaunui catchment
    • Added information on environmental level and take limit regarding the North Otago Volcanic Aquifer

A map of the North Otago FMU is shown below.

North Otago FMU map.

 

Environmental outcomes

In its new Land and Water Regional Plan ORC must set environmental outcomes for the freshwater values identified in the North Otago FMU. An environmental outcome statement describes the desired future state that communities in the North Otago FMU and tangata whenua would like to see for a specific value.

The environmental outcome statements are very similar across all FMUs and rohe in Otago, which reflects the fact that the aspirations that tangata whenua and the different communities have for the environment are largely consistent across the region.

Table 1 sets out the draft environmental outcomes for the North Otago FMU.

Table 1: Draft environmental outcomes

Value 

Environmental Outcomes for North Otago FMU 

Attributes to measure and monitor 

NPS-FM compulsory values (apply to every FMU/rohe) 

Ecosystem health  

Freshwater bodies support healthy freshwater ecosystems with thriving habitats for a range of indigenous species, and the life stages of those species, that would be expected to occur naturally.    

Rivers: 

Ammonia 

Nitrate 

Suspended fine sediment 

E. Coli 

Dissolved reactive phosphorus 

Periphyton 

Macroinvertebrates (MCI/ASPM) 

Fish IBI  

E. Coli primary contact sites 

Macroinvertebrates (QMCI) score

Deposited fine sediment*

Dissolved oxygen*

Ecosystem metabolism*

Lakes:  

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Total nitrogen 

Total phosphorus 

Ammonia 

Cyanobacteria*

Submerged plants (natives)*

Submerged plants (invasive)*

Lake-bottom dissolved oxygen*

Mid-hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen*

Human contact 

Water bodies are clean and safe for human contact activities and support the health of people and their connections with water bodies. 

Rivers: 

E. Coli 

Suspended fine sediment 

Periphyton 

E. Coli primary contact sites 

Lakes: 

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Cyanobacteria (Biovolume cubic millimetres per litre)*

Threatened species  

The freshwater habitats of threatened species are protected and support the persistence and recovery of threatened species over time. 

All the attributes listed for Ecosystem Health above.

 

Recency of presence 

National conservation category and status 

Regional conservation category and status 

Number of sub-populations 

Mahika kai (food and resource gathering) 

Mahika kai resources are restored to a condition in which populations of valued mahika kai species are self-sustaining and plentiful enough to support cultural take. 

Mana whenua are able to safely access, harvest and use these resources now and in the future. 

All the attributes listed for Ecosystem Health above.

 

Others available soon.

Other values (apply to every FMU/rohe) 

Natural form and character 

Freshwater bodies and their riparian margins, and any connected receiving environment including any estuaries and hāpua (lagoon) are able to behave in a way that reflects their natural form and character to the greatest extent practicable, and the natural form and function of unmodified water bodies is protected. 

Rivers: 

Suspended fine sediment 

Periphyton 

Macroinvertebrates (QMCI) score*

Deposited fine sediment*

Lakes: 

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Cyanobacteria*

Submerged plants (natives)*

Submerged plants (invasive)* 

Lake-bottom dissolved oxygen*

Mid-hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen*

Drinking water supply 

Provided the health and wellbeing needs of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems are met, source water from water bodies (after treatment) is safe and reliable for the drinking water supply needs of the community. 

Activities do not introduce or increase the concentration of contaminants in water, so that, after existing treatment, it no longer meets drinking water standards. 

 

Wāhi tūpuna (sites of significance to iwi) 

Cultural associations with wāhi tūpuna are maintained, visible, and whānau are able to access, use and relate to wāhi tūpuna now and in the future. 

Information coming soon.

Fishing 

Fish are safe to eat; and  

Insofar as it is consistent with the protection of indigenous and threatened species, the spawning and juvenile rearing waters for trout and salmon are provided for. 

Rivers: 

E. Coli 

Suspended fine sediment 

Periphyton 

Nitrate 

Suspended fine sediment 

Macroinvertebrates (MCI/ASPM) 

Fish IBI  

Macroinvertebrates (QMCI) score*

 

Lakes: 

Phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a) 

Cyanobacteria (Biovolume cubic millimetres per litre)*

Irrigation, cultivation and production of food and beverages 

Provided the health and wellbeing of water bodies and freshwater ecosystems and human health needs are met, the cultivation and production of food, beverages and fibre is enabled. 

Rivers: 

Suspended fine sediment 

Periphyton 

Water quantity 

Wetlands 

Wetlands are protected, and their ecosystem health, indigenous biodiversity, and hydrological functioning is restored where degraded. 

Information coming soon.

 

Taoka species (treasured species) 

Thriving, connected habitats for indigenous species are restored and sustained for ever and their mauri is intact. 

Kākaunui and Kauru: Water quality is sufficient to sustain restocking of taoka species including wai kākahi (freshwater mussels), whitebait and waikōura (freshwater crayfish). 

¹*Asterisk indicates that the baseline state of these compulsory attributes is not known, but monitoring is now being undertaken.

 

Target attribute states

Attributes are indicators that we can measure and monitor. Attributes tell us about the state of a river or lake. A target attribute state (TAS) is the state that an attribute must achieve to make sure that an environmental outcome is met. The timeframe for achieving the TAS for each FMU is set by the environmental outcomes for the FMU. For the North Otago FMU, the environmental outcomes are to be achieved by 2050. By monitoring attributes and comparing their baseline state with their TAS we learn how well how well we are on track towards achieving the environmental outcomes for this FMU.

While the environmental outcome statements are largely consistent across Otago, baseline states and TAS are usually specific to each FMU and rohe. Attributes for each value and baseline states for those attributes have been identified along with trends derived from the Otago Regional Council's State of the Environment (SoE) monitoring data. 

The baseline state and TAS for the North Otago FMU are in this map below.

Zoom into an area and view the various locations of proposed monitoring sites in an area(s).

Select the yellow dot representing a proposed monitoring site to see the Target Attribute States.

You can further select the Target Attribute States table to view a larger version of the table.

(Note: If you are on a mobile device, tap on the arrow next to the 'X' icon for the table to show.)

 

 

FMU provisions

National direction requires Council to set limits as rules or action plans (as appropriate) to achieve the environmental outcomes. This can be done at a region-wide level or at FMU/rohe level. The draft region-wide rules are set out in different chapters, including Primary Production, Wastewater, Stormwater, Earthworks and Drilling, Water Quantity and various others. However, for the North Otago FMU a number of specific rules are proposed that are needed to make sure the environmental outcomes for this FMU are achieved over time. These additional rules, which will be included in the North Otago FMU chapter of the new Land and Water Regional Plan, are shown in the table below.

Table 2: Overview of proposed additional provisions for North Otago FMU

Contaminants of concern  

Draft LWRP  

Rivers:  

  • E. Coli  
  • Periphyton (TNTP)  
  • DRP  
  • MCI  

Groundwater:  

  • Nitrate  
  • E. Coli  
  • Consent required for dairy farming and dairy support which allows all activities on farm to be considered in order to require reductions in contaminant losses. Controlled activity status with conditions:   
    • the dairy farm is existing  
    • has a freshwater farm plan  
    • average stocking rate no greater than 2.5 cows per hectare  
    • livestock are wintered on the land  
    • synthetic nitrogen fertiliser cap of 100 kgs per hectare per year. 

  • Matters of control are:
    • the content of, and compliance with, the farm’s certified freshwater farm plan
    • the timing of any actions or good management practices proposed to achieve the environmental outcomes for the FMU
    • methods to avoid or mitigate adverse effects of the activity on water quality
    • methods to reduce contaminant loss
    • stocking rates

  • If controlled activity conditions cannot be met, the activity requires a discretionary consent.  


Environmental flows and levels and limits on take, diversion and damming of water

The North Otago FMU chapter will also include water take limits and environmental flows and levels for rivers, lakes and aquifers in this FMU.  

Take limits reflect the total quantity of water that can be taken, dammed or diverted from a stream, river, lake or aquifer. Once the combined rate of take for all consented water takes, diversion or damming activities from a water body matches this take limit no further water can be allocated in new consents.  

Environmental flows (for rivers or streams) or environmental levels (for lakes and aquifers) include minimum flows or levels that when reached, any consented (and some permitted) takes, diversions and damming activities must cease. These restrictions on water taking, diversions or damming activities typically occur during dry periods and are needed to make sure important values, such as threatened fish, drinking water supply or mahika kai (food and resource gathering) values, are looked after.  

Lakes  

An environmental level and take limit will be set for the Devil’s Bridge Lagoon, the North Otago FMU’s only natural lake. Given the uniqueness of this lake, it is proposed that a narrative take limit is set for the lake that prohibits any new takes, damming or diversions that could impact lake levels (except for takes that are permitted under the Resource Management Act 1991).  As there are currently no consents for the taking, damming or diversion of water from this lake the prohibition will ensure that the lake levels in Devil’s Bridge Lagoon will continue to behave naturally.   

Table 3: Environmental levels and take limits for Lakes

Name 

Environmental level(s) 

Take limit 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information) 

Natural lakes (unmodified) 

Devil’s Bridge Lagoon 

Natural minimum water level 

Narrative - no new taking, diversions, damming or discharges from the lake or upper catchment 

No 

 

River catchments

Environmental flows and take limits for the North Otago FMU’s rivers are shown in the table below.  Take limits and environmental flows are often set as a percentage of the 7-day Mean Annual Low Flow (7-day MALF).  The 7-day MALF is a flow statistic that provides an indication of how low the flow gets in a typical year. 

For smaller rivers or streams with a mean flow of 5,000 l/s or less and that are not subject to a high degree of hydrological alteration (due to water taking or damming), such as Kakaho Creek or Oamaru Creek, a total take limit is set as 20% of 7-day MALF. Restrictions on water takes, diversions and damming activities in these catchments are triggered when flows are at 90% of the 7-day MALF.   

Table 4 provides estimates of the actual minimum flows and take limits for different catchments based on the default method using the best available information to determine the 7-day MALF of each catchment. The numeric minimum flows and take limits will not be included in the LWRP. Instead, the LWRP will refer to the relevant % of 7-day MALF. 

Table 4: Rivers managed by default minimum flows and take limits 

Name 

Environmental flow (l/s) 

Take limit (l/s) 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

River catchments with a mean flow ≤ 5,000 l/s and managed by default limits 

  • Minimum flow set as 90% of 7-day MALF 
  • Take limit set as 20% of 7-day MALF 

Aitchison Road Creek  

0  

0  

No 

Back Creek  

104  

23  

Yes 

Glen Creek  

0  

0  

No 

Hilderthorpe  

72  

16  

Yes 

Kaik Road Creek  

71  

16  

Yes 

Kakaho Creek  

3  

1  

Yes 

King Road Creek  

5  

1  

Yes 

Kuriiti Creek  

59  

13  

Yes 

Kurinui Creek  

46  

10  

Yes 

Landon Creek  

130  

29  

Yes 

Ngutukaka Creek  

65  

14  

Yes 

Oamaru Airport Creek  

14  

3  

Yes 

Oamaru Creek  

65  

15  

Yes 

Oamaru North Creek  

0  

0  

No 

Orore Creek  

56  

12  

Yes 

Peaks Road Creek  

22  

5  

Yes 

Post Office Creek  

45  

10  

Yes 

Stony Creek (2)  

111  

25  

Yes 

Sutherland Road Creek  

394  

88  

Yes 

Tarapuke Creek  

219  

49  

Yes 

Trotters Creek  

114  

25  

Yes 

Waikoura Creek  

44  

10  

Yes 

Waiwherowhero Creek  

86  

19  

Yes

 

For some other river catchments in the North Otago, such as the Kakanui or Waianakarua Rivers, where damming, diversions or water takes have resulted in more substantial changes to the river hydrology, “bespoke” take limits and environmental flows will be set in the new Plan. These bespoke limits are informed by more detailed scientific and technical investigations.   

For some bespoke catchments where a transition may be needed to achieve the environmental outcomes of the catchment and phase out over-allocation, it is proposed to set a common consent duration expiry date for any new consent granted under the LWRP framework. The proposed common catchment date for rivers where this will apply in North Otago FMU is 2035. 

Table 5 provides the proposed minimum flows and take limits for bespoke river catchments. 

Table 5: Rivers managed by bespoke minimum flows and take limits

Name 

Environmental flow (l/s) 

Take limit (l/s) 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

River catchments managed by bespoke limits 

Kākaunui catchment 

Kauru (trib): 122  

Kākaunui at Clifton Falls: 496 

Kākaunui at Mill Dam: 548

Kākaunui at McCones: 596

Kauru (trib): 24 

Kākaunui at Clifton Falls: 110 

Kākaunui at Mill Dam: 205

Kākaunui at McCones: 213 

No 

Shag River 

Craig Road and  

Goodwood pump: 150 

280  

  

No 

Waianakarua catchment 

Oct to April: 200  

May to Sept: 400  

190  

No 

Waikōuaiti catchment 

TBC 

TBC 

No 

 

Finally, there is a third category of rivers, such as Awamoko Stream or Welcome Creek, where Otago Regional Council proposes to set interim take limits and environmental flows according to the default method above. These will be implemented through the resource consent replacement process. However, prior to this resource consent replacement process Council will assess whether there is a need to set bespoke minimum flows and take limits for these rivers through a plan change process. Given the current level of water use and allocation, these rivers will in effect be either fully allocated or over-allocated and any new taking of water will not be available.

Table 6 provides estimates of the actual minimum flows and take limits for different catchments based on the default method using the best available information to determine the 7-day MALF of each catchment. The numeric minimum flows and take limits will not be included in the LWRP. Instead, the LWRP will refer to the relevant % of 7-day MALF.

Table 6: Rivers managed by interim default minimum flows and take limits

Name 

Environmental flow (l/s) 

Take limit (l/s) 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information) 

River catchments where default limits will be set as interim limits to be given effect to at the time of consent renewal, unless bespoke limits are set  

Awamoa Creek 

173  

39  

No 

Awamoko Stream  

37  

8  

No 

Bow Alley Creek  

35  

8  

No 

Pleasant River 

42  

9  

No 

Welcome Creek  

No flow stats available  

No flow stats available  

No 

Aquifers

The North Otago FMU contains various aquifers. For most aquifers that are not hydraulically connected to surface water, such as the Lower Waitaki Plains Aquifer, take limits will be based on a proportion (35%) of the aquifers’ mean annual recharge. National direction requires Otago Regional Council also to set environmental levels for this type of aquifers. As Otago Regional Council currently does not have sufficient groundwater level monitoring data to set environmental levels in the Land and Water Regional Plan when it will be notified, environmental levels for these aquifers may be set at a later date. 

Table 7 provides estimates of the actual takes limit for aquifers based on the default method using the best available information to determine the aquifers’ Mean Annual Recharge (MAR). The numeric take limits will not be included in the LWRP. Instead, the LWRP will refer to the relevant % of the MAR. 

Table 7: Aquifers managed by default take limits

Name 

Environmental level(s) 

Take limit (volume in m³/year) 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Aquifers managed by default limits 

  • Take limit: 35% mean annual recharge  

Lower Waitaki Plains Aquifer 

Not to be included in the LWRP at this time 

81,095,000.00  

Yes 

Papakaio Aquifer – Big Hill Zone  

469,000.00  

No 

Papakaio Aquifer – Waikoura Zone  

441,000.00   

   

Yes 

Papakaio Aquifer - Camerons Zone  

196,000.00  

Yes 

Papakaio Aquifer- Enfield Basin  

1,820,000.00   

 

Yes 

Papakaio Aquifer – Maerewhenua Zone  

378,000.00   

 

No 

Papakaio Aquifer – Waipati Zone  

378,000.00   

 

Yes 

Papakaio Aquifer – Southern Zone  

483,000.00  

No 

For aquifers with a close hydraulic connection to a river or stream, such as the Kakanui-Kauru Alluvium Aquifer or Shag Alluvium Aquifer, any water takes will be subject to the take limits and environmental flows set for these rivers.  

Table 8 provides an overview of the environmental levels and take limits that apply to these aquifers. 

Table 8: Alluvial Ribbon Aquifers 

Name 

Environmental level(s) 

Take limit (volume in m3/year) 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Alluvial Ribbon Aquifers  

 

Kakanui-Kauru Alluvium Aquifer 

Subject minimum flow for Kakanui river 

Subject to take limit for Kakanui river 

No 

Shag Alluvium Aquifer 

Subject minimum flow for Shag River 

Subject to take limit for Shag riverriver 

No 

 

Finally, the North Otago FMU has one aquifer, the North Otago Volcanic Aquifer, that will be managed by a bespoke limit. The proposed take limit for this aquifer is shown in table 9 below. 

Table 9: Aquifers managed by bespoke take limits 

Name 

Environmental level(s) 

Take limit (volume in m3/year) 

Further allocation available (estimate based on best available information)

Aquifer managed by bespoke limits  

North Otago Volcanic Aquifer 

Not to be included in the LWRP at this time 

7,000,000.00 

Yes 

 

​​​Outstanding water bodies

Outstanding water bodies are water bodies that have one or more outstanding values. National direction requires the Otago Regional Council to identify outstanding water bodies and protect their important values. The table below lists the outstanding water bodies in this FMU and describes their outstanding values.

Maps of these water bodies are available below as well. 

You can zoom in and view the various water bodies in an area(s).

Water bodies are shown in a blue colour. Select an area to view the water body name.

(Note: if you are on a mobile device, after selecting a water body, tap on the arrow next to the 'X' icon to view more information.)

 

 

Unique identifier 

Site identifier 

Values and characteristics 

Ecology 

ECL34 

Welcome Creek 

  • Canterbury mudfish occur in the Welcome Creek catchment in ponds, wetland areas and instream habitat on the south bank of the Waitaki River and the population straddles the Otago and Canterbury Regional Council boundaries.  Canterbury mudfish is a nationally critical threatened species. 

  • This is the most southern population of Canterbury mudfish and the only population in Otago. 

ECL35 

Kākaunui River 

  • The lowland longjaw galaxias (Galaxias cobitinis)occupies areas of the lower Kākaunui and Kauru rivers in North Otago. 

  • The largest fragment of Canterbury Galaxias is in the Kākaunui catchment (29.2 % of the area in Otago) and much of this is within the proposed lowland longjaw galaxias outstanding water body.  

  • Banded kōkopu have been reported twice in the Kākaunui catchment. 

  • Other native fish species include Bluegill bully, Canterbury galaxias, Common bully, Giant bully, Inanga, Kōoaro, Lamprey, Longfin eel, Redfin bully, Shortfin eel, Torrentfish, Upland bully. 

  • The Kākaunui River Estuary is recognised within the ORC Coastal Plan as a feeding area for birds and the seaward margin of the estuary borders the North Otago Important Bird Area (IBA).  

  • Records indicate the estuary supports up to 15 species of native threatened/at risk fish. 

ECL36 

Waianakaura River 

  • The Waianakarua and Kākaunui rivers had the highest native fish diversity in North Otago with fourteen species reported in each catchment.   

  • The Waianakarua catchment is considered to be an outstanding catchment, representative of the diversity in North Otago and having a low level of modification, some land use protection and with only one introduced fish species present that has a low abundance and distribution. 

  • The second largest fragment of Canterbury Galaxias is in the Waianakarua catchment (14.7 % of the area in Otago) and is contained within the proposed Waianakarua River outstanding water body. 

  • The Waianakarua catchment has records for common smelt and black flounder. 

  • Other native fish species include Bluegill bully, Canterbury galaxias, Common bully, Giant bully, Giant kōkopu, Inanga, Kōaro, Lamprey, Longfin eel, Lowland longjaw galaxias, Redfin bully, Shortfin eel, Torrentfish, Upland bully. 

ECL37 

Waikōuaiti River 

  • The Waikōuaiti River has the highest native fish diversity reported with 15 species. 

  • Giant bullies and Taieri flathead galaxias have been recorded in the Waikōuaiti River. 

  • Other native fish species include Black flounder, Bluegill bully, Common bully, Common smelt, Flathead galaxias, Inanga, Kōaro, Lamprey, Longfin eel, Redfin bully, Shortfin eel, Torrentfish, Upland bully. 

  • Waikōuaiti River catchment is considered the most outstanding for diversity in the Coastal Otago area. 

ECL38 

Waikōuaiti River Estuary 

  • The Waikōuaiti River Estuary is listed in the ORC Coastal Plan as a coastal protection area with Kāi Tahu cultural and spiritual values. 

  • The Waikōuaiti River Estuary supports a significant proportion of the world’s population of black-billed gulls.  

  • Saltmarsh habitat is extensive, with 80 hectares covering 45% of the intertidal area, and dominated by herb fields (96%). This estuary has the largest area of saltmarsh within the Otago region supporting significant bird and fish ecological values. 

Physical 

PHY19 

Waitaki River braids 

  • Regionally Significant 

Well defined braids in river.  

  • Braids are most well defined near the mouth of the Waitaki River. 

PHY20 

Waihemo/Shag River estuary and salt marsh 

  • Regionally Significant 

Least modified of a series of estuaries south of Shag Point/Matakaea.  

Extensive dune system, mudflats, swamp, and salt marsh in an estuarine environment separated from the sea by a small sandspit. 

  • Mouth of Waihemo/Shag River, 8km east of Palmerston. 

Recreation 

None identified. 

Natural character 

NAT22 

Kākaunui 

Active bed 

  • Streams remain largely unmodified with no water takes or structures present. 

  • High water quality in the upper reaches which becomes degraded further downstream and outside of the area of outstanding natural character due to low intensity grazing. 

  • Only habitat nationally for the lowland longjaw galaxias. 

  • Diverse freshwater fish community including lowland longjaw. galaxias, Canterbury galaxias, torrentfish, bluegill bully, upland bully, common bully, kōoaro, inanga, lamprey, longfin eel, shortfin eel. 

  • Flow regimes remain unmodified due to absence of structures, bores and water takes in the headwaters. 

Margin 

  • Margins are lined with tall tussock grassland. 

  • No structures are present due to steep topography and remoteness. Tracks are relatively limited on the upper slopes and tops. 

Context 

  • Water bodies drain steep and short catchments and identification of outstanding water bodies is limited to headwaters; therefore, there are limited structures and modifications present. 

  • Area is characterised by intact tall tussock grassland. 

  • Majority of the identified water bodies in the headwaters of the Kākaunui Mountains fall within the Kākaunui Conservation Area. 

  • Overall, the natural elements, patterns, and processes remain largely unmodified due to the area’s remoteness and difficulty of access. 

NAT23 

Waianakarua 

Active bed 

  • Intact rivers and streams (three main branches of Waianakarua and tributaries) with very limited modification present and absence of gravel abstraction in the upper reaches (lower reaches excluded from outstanding water body. 

  • Water quality is high due to low intensity of grazing in headwaters of Waianakarua catchment. 

  • Abundant freshwater fish community including Canterbury galaxias, torrentfish, bluegill bully, upland bully and has additional species present giant bully, redfin bully, common bully, Kōaro, inanga, lamprey, longfin eel, shortfin eel, black flounder common smelt. 

  • Large areas of the upper catchment remain free of introduced fish. 

  • Flow regimes remain unmodified due to absence of structures, bores and water takes. 

Margin 

  • River and stream margins are clad in indigenous vegetation, including manuka, kanuka, and broadleaf forest. 

  • No structures and very limited tracks are present (forestry and associated roads in lower catchment are excluded from outstanding water body identification). 

Context 

  • Water bodies pass through intact, regenerating indigenous forest in mid catchment. 

  • Steep topography and short catchments create sense of remoteness. 

  • Adjacent land use in the upper catchment consists of low intensity grazing and recreational hunting blocks. 

  • Adjacent land use in the mid reaches consists of pastoral farming with forestry dominating the lower foothills. 

  • Largely encompassed within the Waianakarua Scenic Reserve and Kakaho Bush, Frasers and Razorback Ridge / Kurinui Creek Conservation Area. 

  • Limited structures present including huts and four-wheel drive tracks. 

  • Overall, the natural, elements, patterns, and processes are dominant due to lack of structures, vegetation clearance, and difficulty of access. 

Natural features and landscapes 

None identified. 

 

 

Economic profile and snapshot

This Economic summary covers an area smaller than the North Otago FMU. The reason for this is that the communities at the southern end (i.e., Buckland’s Crossing, Waikouaiti and Karitane) have closer socio-economic ties with Dunedin than Ōamaru. These areas are included in the Economic Snapshot for Dunedin and surrounds. Therefore, the analysis in the North Otago Snapshot focuses on communities located in Waitaki district who have economic ties with Ōamaru. For the purpose of this analysis, this area is referred to as Otago North.

In 2018, Otago North was home to around 20,000 residents (or around 9% of the population of Otago). In the 12 years between 2006 and 2018, there was a 10% (or 2,000 people) increase in population. Although this growth is lower than the average for Otago (+16%) or New Zealand (+17%), it is still sizable for a small population base. Most residents (nearly two in three) live in Ōamaru, while over one-quarter of the population lives in rural areas. The remaining 10% is settled in smaller rural service centres, i.e., Palmerston, Kakanui, Hampton, Maheno, Moeraki, and Herbert.

The local communities and economy in the North Otago area are especially reliant on water resources. The FMU contains the largest proportion of primary production land uses (89%) amongst all of Otago’s FMUs and both primary production and food processing require water as a necessary input. Local tourism is also dependent on water’s aesthetic value and ecosystem services (e.g., being part of the natural landscape and maintaining green spaces).

There are six main industry sectors in Otago North, providing more than two thirds of all jobs here. The Manufacturing industry and Tourism Related industries provide around 21% and 19% of all jobs respectively. Agriculture (10%), Health Care and Social Assistance (8%), Education and Training (7%), and Construction (7%) account for another one third of the employment in the area.

An understanding of Māori history and the 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 the New Zealand economic system. ORC is partnering with Aukaha and Te Ao Marama to develop an overview of Kāi Tahu history and economy.

 

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