Because of the threats to braided rivers, under ECan, the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) aims to halt the decline through its targets and goals with its focus on the integration of water and land management including the protection of indigenous biodiversity and water quality. This is also integrated with the practice of kaitiakitanga or guardianship by Ngāi Tahu which applies to the ecological health of all waterways. Under the Strategy, 10 Zone Committees have been set up to develop Zone Implementation Plans for water management in Canterbury.
The planning of natural water use is guided by the following:
– first order priority considerations: the environment, customary uses, community supplies and stock water
– second order priority considerations: irrigation, renewable electricity generation, recreation, tourism and amenity