Over recent years, public concern has grown about the state of the water in the country’s rivers and streams, lakes, estuaries, and aquifers. That concern has two dimensions – the quality of the water and the way in which it is allocated for irrigation and other economic uses.
In response to that concern, and following reports from a Board of Inquiry and the Land and Water Forum, the Government issued a National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management in 2011. The Resource Management Act requires councils to give effect to the national objectives and policies in an NPS (as it is known) in their local policies and plans.
In November 2013, the Government released a discussion document introducing a framework that specifies how councils will implement the NPS. The framework, which is based in part on the second report of the Land and Water Forum, is called the National Objectives Framework (NOF). The discussion document also contains other proposed amendments to the 2011 NPS.