Document Type



Water resource management authorities globally are increasingly adopting regional ecosystem approaches and reflexive governance as pathways to sustainable development (Paton et al., 2004; Vos et al.,2006). An integrated collaborative approach to natural resource management at the catchment scale is a strong theme in the recent literature (e.g., Lovell et al. 2002; Painter & Memon, 2008). New Zealand’s Resource Management Act (RMA), enacted in 1991, is a devolved planning mandate for
integrated natural resource management exercised by elected regional councils. The territorial jurisdiction of regional councils established in 1988 was purposely defined on the basis of groups of large water catchments (including groundwater aquifers) to facilitate an integrated approach to natural resource management. Integrated management of water allocation, water quality and related land management are primary functions of regional councils. However, regional councils have shied away from exercising their devolved integrated water planning mandate at the subregional catchment scale. Instead, provisions of first generation regional water plans tend to be framed region-wide in scope. In some plans, water quality and quantity issues are addressed separately with limited linkages, a reflection of poor integration.


Interagency coordination; New Zealand; Water resources development; Water-supply -- Management


Sustainability | Water Resource Management

Publisher Citation

MEMON, A., PAINTER, B., WEBER, E.. How to Harness the Full Potential of Integrated Catchment Management as a Pathway to Sustainability. Lincoln Planning Review, North America, 1, jul. 2009. Available at:

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