These Bylaws provide protection from damage and misuse to flood protection and drainage infrastructure assets managed by or under the control of Regional Council.

These assets have been built to increase productivity of land, and prevent damage, danger, and distress to the community from flooding, and problems associated with a lack of drainage.  It is crucial they function properly when needed.

Bylaw Authority

Anyone who wants to carry out work near these flood protection and drainage infrastructure assets need to consider whether a Bylaw Authority is needed. Use our interactive map to find your property and see if it covered by these Bylaws.

What do these Bylaws apply to?

  • Drainage scheme drains and canals.
  • Defences against water such as stopbanks, flood walls, pump stations and flood gates.
  • Erosion protection, such as rock protection, willow and native plantings.
  • Floodways, spillways and ponding areas.

Where do the bylaws apply?

If you are planning any work along one of the region’s rivers please contact us for advice on whether you need to apply for a Bylaw Authority.  

What is a Bylaw Authority?

A Bylaw Authority is written permission from Regional Council that includes conditions to ensure flood protection and drainage infrastructure assets are not damaged or compromised.

The bylaws aren’t in place to stop people from doing any work on their land, but instead ensure any work carried out doesn’t inadvertently affect the integrity of our flood protection and drainage infrastructure assets – which help keep us all safe in major floods.

Some activities needing a Bylaw Authority are:

  • Subdividing a property
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Planting/removing trees or shrubs
  • Building/removing fences, garden sheds
  • Building/extending a house, shed or adding a deck
  • Constructing/removing a retaining wall
  • Constructing/removing an in-ground swimming pool
  • Riparian plantings
  • Horticultural development
  • Dairy effluent system upgrades
  • Digging a new drain or upgrading a culvert
  • Water intake structures
  • Subdividing a property
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Planting/removing trees or shrubs
  • Landscaping involving earthworks
  • Building/removing fences, garden sheds
  • Building/extending a house, shed or adding a deck

It’s best to touch base with our Regional Council team to check if the work you’re planning needs an application for Bylaw Authority. Fill out our enquiry form and we will get back to you with advice specific to your property.

Related Documents

Frequently asked questions

These Bylaws cover flood defences, drains and canals, and erosion protection managed by, or under the control of, Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

They do not apply to any privately owned or managed drainage or flood protection systems, or those that are managed by other councils.

Depending on where you live in the region the areas covered by the Bylaws may differ. You can find out if your property is covered by the Bylaws using our interactive map or fill out an enquiry form and we will be in touch.

The Bylaws aren’t in place to stop people from doing any work on their land, but instead allow us to work with you to ensure any work carried out doesn’t inadvertently affect the integrity of – which help keep us all safe in major floods. This is achieved through a Bylaw Authority, get in touch with us through our enquiry form and we can provide advice and help you through the process.

The is no fee for a standard applications although additional charges may apply for technical review or advice.

The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 include details on compliance and enforcement. 

Check out Section 13 on page 18.

The Bylaws relate to Bay of Plenty Regional Council managed assets. Your local council also manages assets such as stormwater, so it’s worth checking with them to see if they have specific rules.

The Local Government Act 2002 requires bylaws to be reviewed every ten years. This ensures the  rules are still fit for purpose, informed by the latest science and data and, informed by experience from previous floods. The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws were last reviewed in 2020 and became operative on 1 February 2021. The next ten year review is due 2030.

Regional Council undertook a comprehensive engagement and consultation process with the affected communities for the review of the Floodway and Drainage Bylaws 2008. In developing the new Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020, Regional Council held focused workshops, community open days, information sessions, hui with iwi and hapū; and a formal consultation process under the Local Government Act 2002.

If you still have a question that needs answering please send us an email.