The future of our stormwater

Stormwater is an important issue for Horowhenua, both because of increasingly high standards and because of heavier rain events as a result of Climate Change.

Resource Consents

Up until now, Horizons Regional Council hasn’t required resource consents for stormwater discharges to rivers, lakes, estuaries and the ocean in the Manawatū-Whanganui region. However, this is changing and Council is preparing to make an application for resource consents for Levin and Foxton Beach. It is expected that some form of treatment of stormwater will be a requirement of the consent condition.

Lake Horowhenua improvements

Council is about to undertake a feasibility study aimed at improving the water quality of stormwater that enters Lake Horowhenua and has made provision for up to $5.5 million to carry out recommended projects.

Climate change

Climate change predictions for Horowhenua include a change in weather patterns and heavier rain events. However, these changes are likely to take place gradually over the next 25 years and beyond.


Contamination of stormwater mostly occurs outside Council’s control on property belonging to others. However, contaminated stormwater travels through Council’s stormwater network. The National Policy Statement (NPS) for Freshwater Management 2014 (amended in 2017) is the key instrument for controlling this contamination and will impact on Council’s stormwater services in the future.

\You can find out more about the framework on the Ministry for the Environment’s website.


Horowhenua is growing and more residential areas are required. There is also a higher expectation by the public in terms of stormwater. Council has identified growth areas as part of its Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040. These new residential areas will require stormwater networks that support the growth but also take into consideration climate change and the higher public expectations in terms of service and environmental factors.

To aid growth, Council completed the upgrade of the stormwater network in north-east Levin in 2017 and 2018. The purpose of the project was to minimise flooding and allow for residential development to occur in the area for up to 600 residential sections.