Economic Assessment of the Healthy Catchments Project Proposed Solutions Package

The Canterbury Water Management Strategy divided the Canterbury Region into ten water management zones. Each zone has a committee which is made up of representatives from the local community, runanga and district councils. The Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora Zone (OTOP) covers the area between the Rangitata and Pareora rivers. The OTOP Zone Committee is working with the community to develop a set of recommendations to manage the Zone’s freshwater resources through the OTOP Healthy Catchments Project. The recommendations will apply to the three major catchments in the zone: the Orari River, the Opihi River (including the Temuka, the Te Ana Wai and Ophua rivers) and the Pareora River. The health and wellbeing of the OTOP community and its economy depends on the capacity of the Zone’s freshwater resources to support agricultural production and assimilate waste and/or by products, to provide a source of drinking water, to sustain ecosystems and provide opportunities for recreation, the exercise of cultural practices and spiritual enjoyment. The proposed ‘Solutions Package’, particularly the water quality and quantity limits, are likely to have a significant short to medium term effects on some individuals and communities in the Healthy Catchments project area, and financial implications for Environment Canterbury. In order to understand and manage these effects, we would like to know: 1. the economic implications (positive and negative) of the ‘Solutions Package” and the water quality and quantity limits being proposed by the Zone Committee; and 2. the likely financial costs of implementing changes to the regulatory framework and NPSFM in the OTOP Zone.

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