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Coming together to improve Christchurch's urban waterways

Thursday, March 18, 2021   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: water, management, biodiversity, environment, health, recreation

Environment Canterbury media release: 17th March 2021

On 22nd March 2021 we will join Christchurch City Council, along with several community groups, schools, and businesses at Turanga Central Library to celebrate and sign a new partnership Charter.

The Community Waterways Partnership Charter

The Charter will see the development of a variety of community-based initiatives to improve the ecological health, biodiversity, and recreational value of Christchurch’s urban waterways.

While the Ministry for the Environment has endorsed the partnership, discussions are being held with the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, the Department of Conservation, and the Canterbury District Health Board to involve them in the Charter as well.

Minister for Conservation The Hon Kiritapu Allan will be the keynote speaker at the launch which is being held in the TSB room Tūranga, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Monday 22nd March 2021.

Find out more about the Community Waterways Partnership Charter.

Partners to the Charter 

Partners have acknowledged that the outcomes and health (Te Mana o te Wai) of our waterways will greatly benefit from collaborative efforts where expertise, networks and resources are shared.

Find out more about considering the vital importance of Te Mana o te Wai in Canterbury.

It is hoped that by capturing all the work being done by various groups in this space, we can increase the pace at which the health of our waterways is restored.

Christchurch has many passionate community groups who are already working to protect and improve their local waterways.

Activities involving local communities and schools, with support through the partnership, will bring about behaviour changes at individual, household and community levels, to stop contaminants entering our stormwater and waterways, and degrading water quality.

The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS)

The CWMS sets a framework for a collaborative approach to managing freshwater in Canterbury and was established in 2009.

The Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee and the Banks Peninsula Zone Committee were established to help implement the CWMS in the Christchurch area. The role of these committees is to work collaboratively with the community to make recommendations to Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council.

Addressing water quality issues

Water quality varies considerably across and within catchments, and monitoring identifies the areas that need to be improved. 

Municipal stormwater treatment infrastructure alone will not address this water quality problem, especially in the older part of the city where it is lacking. Therefore, it also needs communities to actively prevent pollution in the first place. Achieving this will require Communities to be aware of both the issues and the actions that they can undertake. 

It will take time and everyone working together to make a positive difference. 

The Charter is expected to gather momentum as more projects are identified and more groups and organisations have the chance to sign up to the partnership.

Contact Sally Airey at the Christchurch City Council for further information on the Waterway Partnership Charter (sally.airey[at] 

Find out more about the state of our water in Canterbury.