District-wide matter: Water


District Plan Review consultation now closed.

Initial public consultation on key draft changes to the current Selwyn District Plan closed on Monday 8 October 2018. Thank you to everyone who let us know what they thought of the review so far.

What’s next?

Following this initial public consultation on the District Plan Review, the Council will consider all feedback and start developing detailed provisions for the Proposed District Plan. Please note that a summary report on the initial public consultation will be made available on Your Say Selwyn website at www.selwyn.govt.nz/districtplanreview.

It’s expected the Proposed District Plan will be

District Plan Review consultation now closed.

Initial public consultation on key draft changes to the current Selwyn District Plan closed on Monday 8 October 2018. Thank you to everyone who let us know what they thought of the review so far.

What’s next?

Following this initial public consultation on the District Plan Review, the Council will consider all feedback and start developing detailed provisions for the Proposed District Plan. Please note that a summary report on the initial public consultation will be made available on Your Say Selwyn website at www.selwyn.govt.nz/districtplanreview.

It’s expected the Proposed District Plan will be notified in early 2020 for formal public consultation. The longer timeframe is due to the local government elections at the end of 2019 and ensuring the newly elected Council endorses the Proposed District Plan before it gets notified.


We want to know what you think about the draft changes to water related rules and policies in the current District Plan. These draft changes have been endorsed by the Selwyn District Council for further development as part of its District Plan Review.

How can I have a say?

To give us your feedback on the draft changes , you can:

There will be many consultation opportunities for feedback at different stages of the District Plan Review and this is the first such opportunity. It’s expected that the new District Plan will be notified in early 2020 and be fully in place, subject to any Environment Court appeals, in March 2022.

Background

Water in the current District Plan

Major waterbodies in the Selwyn district include Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, rivers such as the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River, Hororata River and parts of the Hurutini/Halswell River, the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers which border the district, and the significant groundwater that underlies the Canterbury Plains.

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) is somewhat ambiguous about the extent to which a District Plan should address water issues.

Most of the management of groundwater and surface water is the responsibility of the regional council, Environment Canterbury. However, the District Plan can help by managing activities near waterbodies to reduce the risk of accidental discharges, and by keeping the protected areas around wells and septic tank discharges within property boundaries when land is subdivided.


  • Key draft changes for the future District Plan

    about 1 year ago

    The Council’s District Plan Committee has recently endorsed the following draft changes for addressing identified issues for further development, which we’re now consulting on:

    • Update existing rules to remove areas of overlap and duplication with the regional council’s functions, and to tighten and focus rules so that they relate more specifically to the district council’s functions.
    • Develop new rules for specific water issues in Selwyn district that are considered to be of sufficient significance. For example, develop rules to support the restoration of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere such as supporting the re-establishment of aquatic plants and lake margin wetlands,...

    The Council’s District Plan Committee has recently endorsed the following draft changes for addressing identified issues for further development, which we’re now consulting on:

    • Update existing rules to remove areas of overlap and duplication with the regional council’s functions, and to tighten and focus rules so that they relate more specifically to the district council’s functions.
    • Develop new rules for specific water issues in Selwyn district that are considered to be of sufficient significance. For example, develop rules to support the restoration of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere such as supporting the re-establishment of aquatic plants and lake margin wetlands, and managing drainage or reclamation in accordance with the National Water Conservation Order for the lake.
    • Review the current list of waterbodies to which esplanade reserves and esplanade strips (see below what this means) apply when subdividing land next to them. The review is to confirm or alter the purpose, such as access or conservation, of each of the waterbodies, the type of protection ie a reserve owned by the Council or a strip that remains in private ownership, subject to easements, and width appropriate for each identified location.
    • Clearly identify matters that are primarily the responsibility of the regional council. For example, management of the effects of land use on water quality, management of activities in the beds of lakes and rivers.
    (Esplanade reserves, esplanade strips and access strips are statutory mechanisms to protect riparian and coastal margins. Riparian margins are strips of land identified along the edges of natural watercourses including streams, lakes and wetlands which need to be made available when land is subdivided. The protection of these margins helps to conserve environmental values and provides opportunities for public access and recreational use, as provided for in the Resource Management Act.)
  • Summary of key issues with the current District Plan

    about 1 year ago
    As a result of the review of current policies and rules specific to the management of lakes and rivers and their water in the district, we’ve identified the following issues with the current District Plan:
    • The water management approach in the current District Plan is too broad and runs the risk of being confusing and overlapping with or duplicating regional council functions. For example, existing rules for structures that pass over or through the surface of waterbodies, and managing effects of land use on water quality, directly overlap with Environment Canterbury’s functions.
    • The current District Plan doesn’t recognise the significance...
    As a result of the review of current policies and rules specific to the management of lakes and rivers and their water in the district, we’ve identified the following issues with the current District Plan:
    • The water management approach in the current District Plan is too broad and runs the risk of being confusing and overlapping with or duplicating regional council functions. For example, existing rules for structures that pass over or through the surface of waterbodies, and managing effects of land use on water quality, directly overlap with Environment Canterbury’s functions.
    • The current District Plan doesn’t recognise the significance of the restoration programme underway for Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and so doesn’t support it where it could.
    • A consistent approach is needed between Selwyn and Christchurch councils for the management of activities affecting the Hurutini/Halswell River and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, both of which cross district boundaries.
    • Specified widths and types for esplanade reserves and strips1 could be increased in some instances as the current approach doesn’t recognise the water quality, natural character and ecological and cultural benefits of esplanade reserves and strips.