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 Biodiversity and Habitats

Text Freshwater Habitats


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

Royal New Zealand Forest and Bird Protection Society Inc. (1995) Stopping the Bulldozers Before They Start: The Forest and Bird Guide to Resource Management Plans.
Royal New Zealand Forest and Bird Protection Society Inc., Wellington.
Guidance for those preparing submissions on plans. Background explanation of process. Contains specific suggestions for protection of wetland and freshwater habitats, with suggested rules for riparian management.

Harris, R (2004) Handbook of Environmental Law. Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of NZ Inc., Wellington.
Chapter 7 p203-234 covers freshwater values, including habitat protection. includes case law.

Memon, P. A., Perkins, H. (2000) Environmental Planning and Management in New Zealand.
Dunmore Press, Palmerston North.
Chapter 18, p206-214 Fish and Game Councils and Environmental Management. Outlines work of Fish and Game in protection of freshwater habitats.

Journal Articles

Andre, Dene ( 2002) Where Have All the Fish Gone?
Landscape New Zealand, May/June 2002, p6-8
Article discusses questions about the ability of the RMA to give effective protection to native fish habitats.

Web-Based Resources

Visit your regional councils website to see whether there is a plan for water in your region a regional water plan, or natural resources plan. Look for web-pages on freshwater habitats and water resources. Your regional council may provide rural landowners with assistance for riparian planting and fencing, and control of soil erosion. To find a council, visit the Local Government NZ site

Resources: Site of Fish and Game New Zealand, who have a statutory role to advocate for habitat protection. See Your Region for current news on water issues. Info section has a NIWA report on dairy pollution of lowland waterways.

Site: www
Resources: See Surface Water Quality under Guidance on Planning Topics Reference list includes material on freshwater habitats.

Resources: Site of the Cawthron Institute. Resources include report entitled Fish Passage in New Zealand Rivers. Report on indigenous fish habitats, simple solutions to allow fish passage over weirs, fords, bridge aprons and through culverts.

Resources: Site of NZ Native Freshwater Fish Society. Some good resources, including a bibliography of scientific articles on freshwater habitats.

Resources: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. Access to Freshwater Fish Database and Freshwater Fish Atlas.

Resources: National Waterways Project, a Royal Society project to involve schools in monitoring habitat values and water quality in their local rivers, streams and lakes.

Resources: Site of the NZ Ecological Restoration Network. Nationwide network of groups involved in restoration projects, many of which involve riparian planting.


Regular Publications

Relevant Case Law