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Southland region

Surface Water Zone: Waimatuku Surface Water Zone

The Waimatuku surface water zone covers the entire Waimatuku catchment, located between the Lower Oreti and the Aparima surface water zones, on the central Southland plains.

This Waimatuku surface water zone is unique in the fact that its headwaters are fed by a large swamp area, the Bayswater Peat Bog, east of Otautau. Several small springs in the Drummond district also feed into the waterway, adding to its cumulative flow. The Waimatuku Stream is tidal in its lower reaches, before flowing into Foveaux Strait at Oreti Beach. The Waimatuku Stream is an important spawning ground for brown trout and supports a productive whitebait fishery in its tidal reaches. The Waimatuku Stream lagoon was cut in the 1990s to minimise erosion of surrounding sandhills. The lagoon and mouth area is now very active and is currently re-cutting its way into its original course. The Waimatuku Stream was one of the earliest streams in Southland to be straightened. Formerly, the Waimatuku Stream meandered across its floodplain, of which much was relatively swampy. A dredge started the process of straightening and deepening the Waimatuku’s bed in the 1920’s. The end result was the channelised stream seen today, with uniform bank margins. Currently Environment Southland has no permanent water level recorders in the Waimatuku surface water zone. Between 1970 and 1988 a flow site was located on the Middle Creek at Otahuti. An automated raingauge still operates at this site today. Within the Waimatuku zone, there are few surface water abstractions and allocation levels are low.

Water Use
Surface Water in this Zone

Regional councils collect information about how much water is available and manage resource consents for those wishing to take water from rivers and streams. Use the buttons below to view information on: how much water is available, where it comes from and how its used.


Rainfall {{waterAvailable.rainfall}} Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}} Surface Water available: {{waterSource.availableToAllocate}} Irrigation
Town supply
  • How much surface water is there in this zone?

    Rainfall and flow in this surface water zone

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    Rainfall and runoff

    Relative breakdown Source Volume
    Rainfall total:
    {{waterAvailable.rainfall }}
    rainfall Rainfall Total {{waterAvailable.rainfall}}
    Runoff total:
    {{waterAvailable.runoff }}
    runoff Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}}

    The table above shows the average amount of rainfall the water management zone receives each year and how much of that flows out to sea. These are approximate figures only.

  • Water consents: How much water is consented and used?

    Surface water available to consent

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    Consented water in this surface water zone

    Use the tables below to look at how much water is available compared with how much is actually consented within this water management zone. Click the plus to expand subzones where available

    Comparing consents and use
    Amount available to consent In this surface water management zone:
    {{}} {{}}
    available to consent
    Amount consented
    measured and non measured
    Amount used (measured)
    Amount Units Consented or used as a percentage of available
    Total available to consent {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total consented {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total consented and measured {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total measured amount used {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total measured volume used {{}} {{}}

    The table above shows the amount of water that is available for use compared to the amount that has been consented. The ‘Total Consented’ and ‘Total Consented and Measured’ fields are based on percentages of the ‘Total available to Consent’ field. If this field is not populated no data will be displayed. Some consents require actual use to be monitored and this is presented as 'Total measured volume Used' where available.

  • Water consents: How is consented water used?

    Consents by use in this surface water zone

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    Consented water

    Overall annual volume for {{waterAvailable.year}}
    Relative breakdown
    Activity Percentage of total consented Total volume Number of consents
    {{item.displayText}} {{item.displayText}} - - No data available {{item.breakdownPercentage}}% {{item.totalVolume}} m3 {{item.numberOfConsents}}
    Total {{}}% {{}} m3 {{}}

    The above table shows the proportion of water consented for irrigation, industrial, stock, town supply and other. It excludes hydro electricity. In this region/management zone {{hydroUsage.totalVolume}} m3/year is consented for hydro-electricity and makes up {{hydroUsage.percentageConsented}}% of the total water volume consented for this region/management zone


Monitored sites in this Zone

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