Resource Management Act: RMA Link: Topics: Details

The RMAlink project aims to make community participation in all Resource Management Act processes more straightforward and less time-consuming. More effective participation from those with a concern for the environment will contribute towards improving environmental outcomes nationwide.

Topics: Details

Hosted by:

Wellington Community Network
Subject Fresh Water

Text Wastewater Discharges


MFE (2002) Wastewater Monitoring Guidelines.
Ministry for the Environment, Wellington.
Available free online at

MFE (2002) The New Zealand Waste Strategy: Towards Zero Waste and a Sustainable New Zealand. ME 422
Ministry for the Environment, Wellington.
Strategy includes coverage of sewage waste issues.

MFE (2006) A Cultural Health Index for Streams and Waterways: A Tool for Nationwide Use
Ministry for the Environment, Wellington. ME 710 Framework for assessing the cultural / biological health of waterways and catchments to provide information for resource management decisionmaking. Developed to assist Maori to participate effectively in water quality management.
Available online at

MFE (2003) A Cultural Health Index for Streams and Waterways: Indicators for Recognising and Expressing Maori Values. ME 475
Ministry for the Environment, Wellington.
Identifies water health indicators significant to Maori, links cultural knowledge with Western science. Useful for councils working with iwi , to improve understanding of Maori values, and incorporate that knowledge into their management of freshwater resources.

MFE (2003) Sustainable Wastewater Management: A Handbook for Smaller Communities.
Ministry for the Environment, Wellington.
A resource for any community facing choices about the kind of wastewater system they should use, and how it will be funded and managed. Explains how communities can take advantage of the Ministry of Health's Sanitary Works Subsidy Scheme.

Journal Articles

Palmer, K. (2004) Maori Cultural Issues Under the RMA
Resource Management Bulletin, Nov 2004, p173-5
Discussion of recent major RMA decisions, and whether the provisions relating to Maori are being applied in accordance with the intent of the Act. Decisions discussed relate to wastewater discharges.

Lanning, G. and Smith, S. (2004) Reducing Resource Consent Terms to Address Maori Concerns
Resource Management Bulletin, August 2004.
Article discusses 2 significant cases, Tainui Hapu v Waikato Regional Council A003/2004 (Raglans sewage treatment plant) and Ngati Rangi Trust v Manawatu-Wanganui District Council A67/2003 (water take for Tongariro Power Scheme).

Tane, Haikai (2004) Waters of Aotearoa - Alive or Dead
Planning Quarterly, June 2004, p9-12
Discusses European and Maori cultural attitudes to management of water resources. Explores the role of science, technology and culture in sustainable water management. Adapted from Assoc. Prof. Tane's research paper 'The Living Waters of Aotearoa - The Dying waters of New Zealand', available online at

Nichols, A. (2002) Public Infrastructure Planning: A Wastewater Strategic management Plan for Christchurch City
Planning Quarterly, Sept 2002, p22-3
Christchurch's long term strategy for wastewater disposal.

Cayford, Joel (2002) The Politics of Community Sewage and Wastewater Management.
Pacific Ecologist, Spring 2002, p27-32.
Article looks at conventional approaches to waste disposal vs a more sustainable approach that involves the community in consultation, and addresses wider environmental health issues.


Relevant Case Law