The Community Waterways Partnership supports the development of community-based initiatives to improve the ecological health, indigenous biodiversity and amenity value of our urban waterways.
The Partnership is looking to involve the Council, Canterbury Regional Council, Ngāi Tahu, Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, Canterbury District Health Board, universities, schools, industry representatives, river care and other community groups.
A collaborative partnership that supports the development of community-based initiatives to improve the ecological health, indigenous biodiversity and the amenity value of our urban waterways.
This charter is a shared statement of intent among community groups, researchers, businesses, and local, regional and central government. We are seeking to work in partnership under a Charter to achieve outcomes that cannot be attained independently. We will do this by sharing expertise, networks and resources to promote and achieve solutions needed to improve the ecological health, indigenous biodiversity and amenity value of our urban waterways. We uphold Te Mana o Te Wai to actively protect and enhance the mauri of Christchurch urban waterways.
This Charter is a statement of intent to work in partnership. It imposes no binding authority, decision or obligation on partners. Each signatory partner remains autonomous, and none is bound by the Charter in undertaking its everyday activities. The partnership is not a new formal structure or organisation.
Christchurch has many passionate community groups who are already working to, and desire to further 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 level, to stop contaminants entering stormwater and waterways, and degrading water quality.
The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) was established in 2009 and sets a framework for a collaborative approach to managing freshwater in Canterbury. The Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee and 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.
The Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee has identified stormwater as a priority issue. Untreated, contaminated urban stormwater is a major environmental problem for waterways. Routine water quality monitoring of Christchurch’s urban waterways reveals regular exceedances for contaminants above guideline levels. Water quality varies considerably across and within catchments. Monitoring identifies areas that need to be improved, and it will take time and everyone working together to make a positive difference.
Municipal stormwater treatment infrastructure alone will not address this water quality problem, it also needs communities to actively prevent pollution in the first place. To achieve community action requires communities to be aware of the issues and the actions that they can undertake. Given that in 2017, only 55% of Christchurch residents surveyed were aware that stormwater from roads and properties mostly leads to waterways, there is a need for community awareness-raising and engagement initiatives.
We will work together to: