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Stormwater Conference Focuses On Key Challenges

The government’s ambitious water reforms and embedding the concept of Te Mana o te Wai into legislation will be key areas under the spotlight at the Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference in Tauranga starting today.

National and international keynote speakers include Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, who’s leading the government’s reforms.

Environmental planner Tina Porou will focus on the integrity of Te Mana o te Wai, mātauranga Māori and enabling the health and wellbeing of our waterways through our Te Tiriti partnerships.

Water New Zealand chief executive, Gillian Blythe says that while the government has been very active on drinking water reform, there is also a need for more investment and focus on the management of stormwater networks.

“Stormwater networks are critically important for flood protection and play a massive role in shaping our urban environment.

"This is an area where there will be huge challenges, particularly as we face climate change and sea level rises."

She says the inclusion of Te Mana o te Wai, which recognises the importance of protecting the health of water from source to discharge, will have a big impact on water services and communities.

“This is a fundamental shift in the way we, as a country, regard and use water and will affect everyone – not just water service providers.”

Other speakers include Holly Greening, a co-founder of CoastWise Partners in the United States – an organisation providing volunteer assistance to coastal and watershed programmes around the world.

Local speakers include Nicki Green, principal advisor in the Policy and Planning team at Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council who led the council’s implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and Wally Potts from the Tauranga City Council.

For more information on the conference go to

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