Maitai Freshwater Management Unit
The Maitahi/Mahitahi/Maitai FMU comprises the largest catchment area of Nelson. Nelson City sits within the lower Maitai River and the river is a central focus for the City. The river flows to the sea at Port Nelson, at the southern end of the Nelson Haven. The FMU also contains York Stream, Oldam Creek, Todds Valley and Hillwood Streams, all which flow into in the Nelson Haven.
Within the Maitahi/Mahitahi/Maitai FMU, there are eleven sub-catchments, being the watershed areas of the following water bodies – Lower Maitai, North Branch Maitai (above the Maitai Dam), South Branch Maitai (above the Maitai Dam), Groom Creek, Upper Brook (upstream of Maitai Motorcamp site), Lower Brook (downstream of the Maitai Motorcamp site), Sharland Creek, York Stream, Oldham Creek, Hillwood Stream, and the Todds Valley Stream .
The Maitahi/Mahitahi/Maitai FMU has excellent water quality in the upper reaches, but elevated nutrients and sediment are evident in lower reaches and some contributing tributaries. Pastoral and forestry activities may be contributing to this. Lower reaches of the Maitai and smaller urban streams have poor water quality, showing the effects of urbanisation and pastoral activity of adjoining landuses. Key values of the Maitahi/Mahitahi/Maitai FMU are its strong social-cultural connection to the City, recreational uses including swimming, public access and community water supply.