The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws are regulations that safeguard flood protection and land drainage assets from damage or misuse.

Following a comprehensive review of the 2008 Bylaws, the 2020 Bylaws were formally adopted by Council on 17 December 2020 and became operative on 1 February 2021:

Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020

To find out if your property is within a bylaw applicable area and/or apply for a bylaw authority please complete the online form.

About the Bylaws

The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws apply to assets owned or managed by Regional Council such as:

  • drainage scheme canals and drains
  • defences against water (e.g. stopbanks, pump stations, floodgates, geotechnical overlays)
  • erosion protection works (e.g. rock rip rap, trenched willows, edge plantings, buffer zone plantings)

These assets protect people, property and livelihoods from river flooding and problems associated with a lack of land drainage.

The Bylaws only apply to assets managed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council as part of the region’s flood protection and land drainage schemes. These schemes are within the area from the Kaituna River and Te Puke Basin east to the Waioeka and Otara Rivers (Ōpōtiki) and include:

  • Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme – includes some streams flowing into Lake Rotorua, the Kaituna River and drainage systems in the Te Puke Basin (from Te Puke out to the coast)
  • Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme
  • Rangitāiki Drainage Scheme – Rangitāiki Plains between Matatā and Whakatāne
  • Whakatāne-Tauranga Rivers Scheme
  • Waiōtahe River Scheme
  • Waiōtahe Drainage Scheme
  • Huntress Creek Drainage Scheme
  • Waioeka-Otara Rivers Scheme – Ōpōtiki

The Bylaws outline when you need to speak with Council, and if necessary apply for a Bylaw Authority. This ensures we work together to develop the best approach to managing activities within Bylaw Applicable Areas.

Frequently asked questions

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council looks after more than $350 million worth of flood protection assets. These include floodgates, pump stations, stopbanks and floodwalls which are part of a flood protection system designed to help manage river flows and collectively work to minimise flood risks.

Council manages flood protection systems in five major rivers and drainage schemes:

  • Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme
  • Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme
  • Rangitāiki Drainage Scheme
  • Whakatāne-Tauranga Rivers Scheme
  • Waioeka-Otara Rivers Scheme

Anyone who wants to carry out work in the vicinity of a flood protection asset must first apply for a bylaw authority. ‘Work’ could include constructing or demolishing a structure; undertaking earthworks; planting or removing trees, hedges or shrubs; installing a culvert or crossing in a scheme drain; intensive development of farm land (e.g. for horticulture).

Council may issue bylaw authorities, often with specific conditions, to allow landowners to carry out works while minimising any impact on the flood protection assets.

Please complete the online form.

We will let you know if you are within a Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws applicable area and provide advice on applying for a bylaw authority if required.

Background information 

The Bylaws were reviewed in 2019 and the following tabs contain background information and details about the review process.

The Local Government Act 2002 requires all bylaws to be reviewed every ten years.

This ensures the rules are:

  • fit-for-purpose
  • informed by the latest science and data
  • informed by experience from previous flood events
  • informed by present issues and risks e.g. climate change projections, land use changes and increased pressure from development

The Floodway and Drainage Bylaws 2008 needed to be reviewed and adopted by 30 June 2020.

COVID-19 lockdown occurred just as we were starting our formal consultation process. At the time there was no legislative pathway to defer the consultation process without the current 2008 Bylaws being automatically revoked on 1 July 2020.

Following lockdown the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020 was enacted. The Act provides temporary legislation, and updates s160B of the Local Government Act 2002, that ensures that the Floodway and Drainage Bylaws 2008 is not revoked on 30 June 2020 and continues to be in force until adoption of the Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020, or 30 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

Because of this temporary legislation Bay of Plenty Regional Council was able to postpone the proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 hearings, deliberations and adoption to later in 2020.

Due to COVID-19, consultation on the proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 was undertaken on-line, and via phone conversations, rather than the planned face-to-face engagement across the region.  

The following documents supported the formal consultation process:

Forty-three submissions were received, with 15 submitters requesting to be heard. Submissions were received from across the region with the highest proportion being from the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Fifty-three percent of submissions were from rural submitters, 42% from urban submitters and 5% from regional submitters.

The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws Hearings Pack 11 Aug 20 contains the following information about the submissions received and the hearings process:

  • Hearings agenda
  • Proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 – Statement of Proposal
  • The proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020
  • The Bay of Plenty Regional Council Floodway and Drainage Bylaws 2008
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Officers Report to the Hearing – August 2020
  • A full list of the submissions received by Council on the Proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020
  • Legislative mandate for each clause of the Proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020

Hearings were held on Wednesday 26 August 2020 and the hearings panel was made up of the following Regional Councillors:

  • Councillor Andrew von Dadelszen (Tauranga General Constituency) – Chair
  • Councillor David Love (Tauranga General Constituency)
  • Councillor Norm Bruning (Western Bay of Plenty General Constituency)
  • Councillor Kevin Winters (Rotorua General Constituency)
  • Councillor Toi Kai Rākau Iti (Kōhī Māori Constituency)
  • Councillor Bill Clark (Eastern Bay of Plenty General Constituency)
Otara River stopbank
Otara River stopbank (left bank).

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Project Updates

8 months ago

Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2021 now operative

The Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws became operative on 1 February 2020.

An online form has been developed so you can find out if your property is within a bylaw applicable area and get advice on applying for a bylaw authority.

Keep an eye on this page over the coming months for more advice and support as we ensure that those living and working near our flood protection assets know what that means for them. You can register to follow this project and receive notifications when the page is updated.

10 months ago

Bylaws adopted to protect people, properties and livelihoods

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council today voted to adopt the Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020, bringing to fruition an 18-month-long process of consultation, review, submissions and hearings.

The new Bylaws come into force on 1 February 2021 and until then the Floodway and Drainage Bylaws 2008 remain in effect. The Bylaws only apply to assets managed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council as part of the region’s flood protection and land drainage schemes.

Read the full media release

about 2 years ago

Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw Review Hearings – 26 August 2020

The Hearings Panel are meeting in Whakatāne on Wednesday 26 August 2020 to hear submissions on the Proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020.

Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw Review Hearings – 26 August 2020

The Hearings Panel are meeting in Whakatāne on Wednesday 26 August 2020 to hear submissions on the Proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020.

During the formal submissions period (27 March to 20 April 2020) we received 43 submissions and 14 of the submitters requested to be heard.

Submitters wanting to be heard have been contacted and assigned a timeslot.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings. Please report to reception on arrival.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020
9:30am to 2:00pm
Mātaatua Meeting Room
Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 5 Quay Street, Whakatāne

Hearings Panel

  • Councillor Andrew von Dadelszen (Tauranga General Constituency) – Chairperson
  • Councillor David Love (Tauranga General Constituency)
  • Councillor Norm Bruning (Western Bay of Plenty General Constituency)
  • Councillor Kevin Winters (Rotorua General Constituency)
  • Councillor Toi Kai Rākau Iti (Kōhī Māori Constituency)
  • Councillor Bill Clark (Eastern Bay of Plenty General Constituency)

The hearings agenda, including a list of submitters and copies of the submissions, will be available on the website Project Page from 19 August 2020. Hard copies will also be available for viewing at Bay of Plenty Regional Council offices:

  • Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga
  • Corner of Fenton and Pukaki Streets (1118 Fenton Street), Rotorua
  • 5 Quay Street, Whakatāne

Find out more by contacting:  Toni Briggs, Project Manager, 0800 884 881 x9353 or toni.briggs@boprc.govt.nz

about 2 years ago

New hearing dates for Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw

Due to the enactment of COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020, Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be postponing the proposed Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 hearings, deliberations and adoption until the following dates:

  • Hearings: 26 August 2020
  • Deliberations: 30 September 2020
  • Adoption: 29 October 2020
about 2 years ago

Waihī Drainage District not covered by BOPRC bylaws

Waihī Drainage District (east of Wilson Road, Pukehina and Pongakawa areas) is not covered by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws.

Waihī Drainage District not covered by BOPRC bylaws

Waihī Drainage District (east of Wilson Road, Pukehina and Pongakawa areas) is not covered by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws.

 Flood protection for the Waihī Drainage District is administered by the Waihī Drainage District Incorporated Society as agents for Western Bay of Plenty District Council. Therefore Bay of Plenty Regional Council bylaws do not apply.

This area includes Kaikokopu Canal, Wharere Canal, Pongakawa Canal and Pukehina Canal.

If you are a landowner in the Waihī Drainage District and received a Bay of Plenty Regional Council Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw affected landowner letter please accept our apologies – the bylaws do not apply to you.

Waihi drainage district map
about 2 years ago

Bylaw consultation open until Tuesday 28 April

Consultation has opened on our Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws and we will be seeking your feedback until Tuesday, 28 April 2020. This may seem unusual, while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 due to COVID-19 but Council has legislated timeframes it must meet.

Bylaw consultation open until Tuesday 28 April

Consultation has opened on our Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws and we will be seeking your feedback until Tuesday, 28 April 2020. This may seem unusual, while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4 due to COVID-19 but Council has legislated timeframes it must meet.

If we don’t put in place new Bylaws by 30 June 2020, our current 2008 Bylaws will be automatically revoked under the Local Government Act 2002 meaning those assets would have no legal protection. There is currently no legislative pathway to get an extension.

If you are a directly affected party (i.e. a person who owns land within a Bylaw Applicable Area) you will have received a letter outlining the review and process for consultation already.

Unfortunately there was an error in this letter where it stated that the Bylaws consultation would be carried out in conjunction with the Annual Plan 2020/21 consultation. This is no longer the case as Council has decided not to consult on the Annual Plan 2020/21. It is important that the public has a chance to make a submission on the proposed changes to the bylaws.

Fortunes Road pump station
about 2 years ago

Drop-in sessions

In the week 17 – 22 November the project team is hosting a number of drop-in sessions across the region where information will be displayed and staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Drop-in sessions

We’re reaching out to let people know about the bylaw review and to invite feedback on the proposed changes.

In the week 17 – 22 November the project team is hosting a number of drop-in sessions across the region where information will be displayed and staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Please attend the session that best suits your location; as the name implies people are welcome to ‘drop-in’ anytime between 4 – 7 pm. Light refreshments provided.

  • Monday, 18 November at The Memorial Park Pavilion, 20 Albert Street, Opotiki
  • Tuesday, 19 November at REAP House, Pyne Street, Whakatāne
  • Wednesday, 20 November in the Settler’s Lounge, Te Puke War Memorial Hall, 130 Jellicoe Street, Te Puke
  • Thursday, 21 November at the Ngongotahā Bowling Club, 11 Domain Avenue, Ngongotahā
  • Sunday, 24 November at the Edgecumbe Farmers Market, Rangitāiki Cosmopolitan Club car park, Bridge Street, Edgecumbe
Video frame of floodway and drainage bylaw video

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