Council’s Integrated Catchments Group is applying for a long-term, region-wide consent to carry out works in waterways to repair bank erosion, remove sediment and debris, and maintain and clear stream mouths.

These activities are currently permitted within council’s River Scheme Maintenance Areas and this consent would allow these same activities to be carried out in other waterways in the Bay of Plenty region subject to consultation requirements (more on that below).  

A consent of this type has been in place for more than 20 years. It is used by Council 10-20 times a year, usually to work with landowners more quickly on small to medium priority and urgent repairs where people or property are at risk. Quicker repairs mean reduced erosion, less sediment entering waterways, lower flooding risks and protection of habitat. 

We expect the application to be open for public submissions later this year.

Background 

Regional Council has responsibilities under several key pieces of legislation. We are required to ensure conservation of soil resources, prevent erosion and provide flood protection, maintain and enhance water quality and avoid, remedy or mitigate natural hazards (including flooding).

Orini Stream Orini Stream property

Orini Stream, Ōmaio Bay (above): A large road culvert and the road way had been washed during flooding. Bank erosion had also occurred because of the fast water flow.

Using the waterways protection works consent, gabion baskets and graded rock were installed to armour the banks around the culvert against lateral erosion. The banks were re-sloped to an appropriate batter and planted with suitable native species.

Pakihi Pakihi Groynes

Pakihi River (above): Following a severe storm, the Pakihi River eroded part of the access road into the Pakihi Valley. Under the consent, the waterway was put back into its original course and permeable groynes were constructed out of railway iron and wire rope which reclaimed sediment and redirected the main flow of water within the channel.

Why we are applying for the waterway protection consent

Within our River and Drainage Schemes, these erosion and flood protection works are permitted activities and consent is not required for each separate piece of work.  

However, outside scheme areas, these same sorts of activities require resource consent. 

The current consent allows Council to carry out the same activities and meet its legislative responsibilities in waterways that are not part of our river scheme network. 

The consent would allow for the following activities:

  • Repair bank erosion
  • Carry out realignment and clearance works due to lateral migration, debris blockages or elevated water levels.
  • Remove sediment build up or vegetation that may be causing an erosion risk or flooding hazard
  • Redirect and alter waterways to re-establish to its original course
  • Authorise the working with waterways during emergencies 
  • Clearance and ongoing maintenance of stream mouths in coastal areas.

The current consent (64684) was granted in March 2009 and expired on 30 September 2018. It is currently still in operation under s124 of the RMA (allowing the existing consent to continue while Council follows the process of re-applying for a new consent).  

What this means for landowners

Council can work with landowners to repair bank erosion, remove sediment and debris, and maintain and clear stream mouths using this consent.

Usually it is used for minor works, for example removing debris, taking out log obstructions or battering a small stream bank, particularly where this work is needed to minimise erosion and ongoing damage.

By using the consent, Council is able to start quality, fit-for-purpose repairs more quickly. This in turn reduces risks (for example removing debris or sediment build-up and associated flood risks) and reduces damage caused by erosion (land loss, sediment in waterways, and habitat damage). It also means that in many cases, the costs can be shared between the landowner and the regional council.

All works carried out will continue to have requirements around consultation with tangata whenua and neighbouring landowners and will also be subject to Council’s Environmental Code of Practice for Rivers and Drainage Maintenance Activities. Sites will also have with an Environmental Management Plan or Site-Specific Environmental Management Plan which outlines the sort of works that may be carried out, the standards that will apply and notification and consultation.

These requirements will not change.

 

Orini Stream property

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PROJECT CREATED

26 Feb 2020

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