User Guides

Glossary R-U

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These definitions and explanations should provide a comprehensive understanding of key terms related to freshwater management in New Zealand. Keep in mind that the management practices, regulations, and terminology can evolve over time.

RāhuiA temporary restriction or prohibition imposed on an area for conservation or cultural reasons. Rāhui help protect sensitive areas from human impacts.
RangatiratangaThe Māori concept of authority, chieftainship, and self-determination. Rangatiratanga over water resources involves the management and decision-making responsibilities of Māori communities.
Regional Policy StatementA document that provides an overview of resource management issues, objectives, and policies within a region. It guides decision-making and planning for natural and physical resources and includes directions for provisions in district and regional plans.
Resource consentAuthorisation granted by local authorities for activities that may affect the environment, including water-related activities. Resource consents ensure responsible resource use.
Riparian plantingPlanting vegetation along water bodies to stabilize banks, prevent erosion, and improve water quality through filtration.
Riparian zoneThe area of land adjacent to water bodies that influences their health. Proper management of riparian zones helps maintain water quality and habitat.
SedimentSolid particles that settle in water bodies, often causing water quality issues. Managing sediment runoff is crucial for preventing pollution
SiltFine soil particles that can be suspended in water. Silt runoff contributes to sedimentation and water quality problems.
StormwaterWhen rainwater falls onto a hard, sealed, impermeable surface (such as roofs, roads, and driveways), it cannot soak into the ground. Instead, it runs off the surface. Managing stormwater helps prevent flooding and pollution of water bodies.
Sub-catchmentA smaller division of a larger catchment, often managed separately for planning and management purposes.
Surface runoffWater that runs off the surface of the land and flows into waterways Runoff will occur only when the rate of precipitation exceeds the rate at which water can infiltrate into the soil.
Tangata whenuaIn relation to a particular area, means the iwi or hapu that holds mana whenua over that area
TaongaA Māori term describing a treasured possession or resource of cultural significance. Water bodies are often considered taonga.
Te Mana o te WaiTe Mana o te Wai is an important concept for how water is managed and utilised in New Zealand and refers to the vital importance of water. Te Mana o te Wai recognises the fundamental importance of water in that protecting the health of freshwater protects the health and well-being of the wider environment. It is an approach that protects the Mauri (life-force) of the water.
Threatened speciesA species facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild and includes nationally critical, nationally endangered and nationally vulnerable species as identified in the New Zealand Threat Classification Systems lists
TikangaMāori rights, customs, accepted protocol, traditions, lore or law, the correct Māori way
TurbidityA measure of the murkiness of water, reflecting the amount of suspended sediment in the water. High turbidity reduces the amount of light available to the plants and animals living in the water. It reduces the ability of plants to photosynthesise. It also makes it difficult for fish and other animals to see their prey. Turbidity should be less than 5 NTU (turbidity measurement scale) for water to support plant growth