Regional councils set targets for swimmable waterways

Regional councils are this month announcing draft targets, marking a key step toward the government’s goal of 90 per cent of rivers and lakes being swimmable by 2040.

The draft regional targets draw on information contained in a report prepared jointly by Regional Councils, the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Primary Industries, with advice from technical experts.  Councils have until the end of this year to discuss the draft regional targets with their communities and finalise them.

The report released this week, “Regional information for setting draft targets for swimmable lakes and rivers”, outlines the work planned or underway in each region to improve water quality for swimming, including infrastructure provision, riparian planting and stock exclusion, enabling us to understand what to expect based on currently planned activity.

The targets are expected to evolve as regional councils progress with their planning and engage with communities about their expectations.

LGNZ President Dave Cull says all councils are committed to working with central government and communities to meet water quality expectations, but warns there will be costs associated with achieving improving freshwater quality, and that councils will need to work constructively with the Government to make sure they have the adequate resources.

The report is available here: