Batcheler, L., Bolton-Ritchie, L., Bond, J., Dagg, D., Dickson, P., Drysdale, A., Handforth, D.,Hayward, S. (2009, February). Healthy estuary and rivers of the city: Water quality and ecosystem health monitoring programme of Ihutai. Environment Canterbury.

Published in 2009 by Environment Canterbury (ECan), this report was created in response to poor water quality data accessibility and previous waterway monitoring lacking focus in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The proposed solution for this was to establish a rational, sustainable monitoring programme for Ōtautahi waterways by providing strategies for baseline monitoring, investigations, and compliance monitoring that could be utilised across different organisations to avoid duplication. The specific purpose of this report was to provide a baseline monitoring programme to characterise the health of the Ihutai Estuary and its catchments, to identify long term changes, and to serve as an indicator of outcomes expected in the 2004 Ihutai Management Plan.

The design of this programme was based on 2000 ANZECC and ARMCANZ guidelines and input from representatives of ECan, the Christchurch City Council (CCC), the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, and the Christchurch Estuary Association. It measures the health of the estuary against four environmental values; safe for contact recreation, healthy ecosystems, food gathered is safe to eat, and culturally acceptable mahinga kai values. Upon completion of this report, it was recommended that the monitoring programme be adopted and actioned by relevant councils, that existing water quality data be published, and that any future changes to the monitoring programme must be supported by a working group similar to the one that developed this report.