Managing our estuaries

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton is calling for an approach to managing estuaries that treats estuaries and the waterways that feed into them as a single entity from the mountains to the sea.

“If the vision of ki uta ki tai for managing water is to mean anything, estuaries have to be an integral part of the plan.”

“What comes off the land ends up in the estuary so unless we manage this in a genuinely integrated way our estuaries will always risk being sacrificed.”

“Yesterday’s and today’s pollution – be it sediment from a subdivision or contaminants from road run-off – will be stored up for tomorrow,” the Commissioner warns.

The report, Managing our estuaries, describes a wide range of problems – overlapping jurisdictions, overlapping responsibilities, ever-changing policies, and inadequate enforcement and compliance.

“The health and wellbeing of an estuary is rarely the sole and undivided responsibility of any one entity.”

“This report tries to take the estuary’s point of view in asking whether we are doing as good a job as possible at managing their health,” the Commissioner says.

Read the Commissioner’s report, Managing our Estuaries