Otago’s Water Plan is being reviewed by ORC. We are taking a staged approach to the review based on 'mountains-to-sea' catchment areas called Freshwater Management Units (FMUs). In Otago we have set five FMUs: Clutha/Mata-Au, Taieri, North Otago, Dunedin Coastal and Catlins.





The North Otago FMU covers the expanse of the Shag, Waikouaiti and Kakanui rivers. It spans over 3,000 square kilometres of urban and rural land and is home to more than 17,000 people. 

As we go through this new FMU process, there may be some rules set for the North Otago FMU that differ from other areas. This will be done in consultation with the local community to ensure that waterway management reflects local values and objectives.




Information and resources

We carry out monthly water quality testing as part of our State of the Environment (SOE) testing. Please note that SOE reports are based on five years of data. Read the SOE reports for:

Read more about water quality at the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website links below, including the "Can I swim here?" section which is updated weekly in summer months.

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter On-Stream. Read previous editions here.


Catchment groups

Website: https://www.noslam.nz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noslamnz/

Email: noslamoffice@gmail.com

Phone: (021) 194 9597

Consultation - have your say

What do you want for the future of waterways in the North Otago FMU?

Under a new requirement introduced in the government’s Essential Freshwater package, ORC’s Regional Policy Statement must include freshwater objectives developed with iwi and the wider community for each freshwater management unit and rohe.

What do you value most about the lakes, rivers, groundwater, streams or wetlands in the North Otago FMU?

Is it being able to go fishing or swimming? Or do you rely on freshwater for your crops or farm animals? Maybe you want to see native animals and plants living in the water? What’s your vision for your waterways?

Come along and tell us at: 

  • Oamaru on 28 October, 12.30-2.00pm and 6.00-7.30pm, Oamaru Opera House, 90 Thames St, Oamaru
  • Palmerston on 29 October, 12.30-2.00pm, Palmerston Community Hall, 104A Ronaldsay Street, Palmerston

Or go online here.

ORC key contacts

Name: Rebecca Begg
Phone number: 0800 474 082
Email: rural@orc.govt.nz
Role: Team Leader Rural Liaison and Support
Organisation: Otago Regional Council

ORC Pollution Hotline

If you observe pollution to water, air or land anywhere in Otago, please call the Pollution Hotline - it's 24/7.

Phone: 0800 800 033