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Wellington Region

Surface Water Zone: Kāpiti Coast

The Kāpiti Coast Surface Water Zone lies in the northwestern part of the Wellington Region, bounded by the Porirua Harbour catchment to the south and the Manawatu-Wanganui region boundary to the north. It occupies an area of 694 square kilometres and makes up 9 percent of the total region area. 

The Kāpiti Coast Surface Water Zone comprises a coastal plain, harbouring numerous significant wetlands.

There are two major rivers in this zone. The Ōtaki River has a relatively high base flow (due to having one of the largest catchment areas in the region) but is subject to only relatively minor levels of abstraction. It is considered to be the least modified major river in the Wellington region. In contrast, the Waikanae River has a much smaller catchment area and lower base flow than the Ōtaki River but is  subject to a large municipal supply take (up to 460 litres per second) in its lower reaches. It is considered to be fully allocated. 

In addition to the major rivers there are many smaller streams, including the Mangaone, Waitohu and Whareroa streams that rise in the foothills of the Tararua Range and cross the coastal plain. These streams typically flow at very low rates during dry summers. There are also numerous wetlands in this zone, some of which are regionally significant. These wetlands can be sensitive to changes in stream and groundwater hydrology around them. 

There are no on-river storage or hydro generation schemes on water courses within this zone. 

Management in this zone is focussed on treating the surface and groundwater systems as a connected resource.  While four surface water sub-zones have been created to help manage minimum flows and allocation limits, the linkages between these sub-zones and groundwater sub-zones is explicitly considered at the whole zone scale.

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.

    Total run-off to sea has been estimated by aggregating mean flow statistics from the River Environment Classification (developed by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research). 

  • 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.

    Values for water availability have not yet been provided. Greater Wellington Regional Council is in the process (as at June 2015) of notifying a new Regional Plan that will contain proposed allocation limits.  When this Plan is notified the proposed limits will be used to update the empty fields.

  • 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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