ORC Land and Water Regional Plan - Catlins FMU


Catlins FMU

We’re developing a new Land and Water Plan in partnership with Kāi Tahu, including specific rules and limits on water and land use in your area. 

We'll be at the Owaka Community Centre, 9 Ovenden Street, Owaka on 29 November 2021. Please drop-in anytime from 11am until 8.30pm to chat with policy, science and other ORC staff and councillors as well as Iwi to ask any questions you have. There will also be ORC and Iwi staff presentations at 12.30-2pm and at 7-8.30pm followed by group discussion.

In this first stage of consultation, we’d love to hear what you want to achieve for land and water resources in your area, to learn what you know about your catchment, and to share what we know from the science. We will then have group discussions about options for managing freshwater and land in your area. 

You will have opportunities to give input and feedback at the meeting or online.


Next steps

There will be a follow-up meeting in February 2022, when ORC and Kāi Tahu will present and discuss a preferred approach to water and land management with you. Check back here for meeting details nearer the time. You will also be able to give input online. 

The preferred approach will then be drafted into the Catlins FMU chapters of the proposed Land and Water Regional Plan. Once this is notified, you can make a submission saying what you like about it or how it could be improved. 


Consultation timeline

Otago Regional Council Land and Water Regional Plan Catlins consultation timeline

Click to enlarge or download.


About the area

Catlins FMU map boundaries

Catlins Freshwater Management Unit boundaries

Download map (PDF)


In the South of Otago, the Catlins FMU contains a collection of smaller catchments that feed into the sea south of the Clutha Mata-au catchment. This FMU contains Otago’s portion of the Catlins Conservation Park.

The coast is dominated by sandy bays and cliffs and from there, the land rises steadily from the south-east to north-west, reaching its maximum altitude (720 m) at Mt Pye, in the headwaters of the Tahakopa and Catlins Rivers, and then it falls again, through rolling country, towards the Mataura River (in Southland) and the Clinton lowlands.

This FMU includes a number of catchments that drain to the coast, including the Owaka, Catlins, Puerua, and Tahakopa Rivers, many of which still have native cover.

It also includes Kuramea (Lake Catlins) and its adjoining wetland and estuary, which provides for a diverse range of native species and habitats.

The largest urban centre is Owaka, with around 300 people.


Science summary

The Catlins FMU generally has good water quality due to the intact nature of the headwaters and native vegetation, however waterways near valleys that have been cleared for other landuses have more variable results.


Economic summary

The Catlins is an area of sheep and beef grazing, with some dairy farming, deer farming and forestry being less common. Tourism is a developing market.


How can you stay up-to-date?

We’ll be sharing project updates and information on this webpage and in our monthly newsletter On-Streamsign up here.

Contact ORC at customerservices@orc.govt.nz or 0800 474 082.

You can also contact your local ORC councillor here.

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