Earthworks & stream diversion

Land recontouring and stream diversion require careful management to avoid or mitigate impacts on the environment.

Earthworks & control of stormwater

You need to limit the likelihood of sediment run-off to streams. Minor earthworks are allowed without a resource consent.

What you need to ensure

You won't need a resource consent for stormwater run-off from earthworks if:

  • You are working in a small area (less than one hectare).
  • The volume of disturbed material is less than 3000 cubic metres.
  • The area is stabilised as soon as possible after the earthworks have been completed.
  • The run-off does not contain levels of sediment that would have a significant effect on water quality.
  • There are unlikely to be significant adverse effects on the quality of water or wetlands.

If earthworks extend over a larger area (between one hectare and eight hectares), you don’t require a resource consent as long as:

  • The volume is less than 24,000 cubic metres.
  • Soil stabilisation is undertaken as soon as practicable.
  • You meet the other requirements listed above.
  • You are not doing the work between 1 May and 31 October.

You must meet all of these requirements. Otherwise, you will need a resource consent.

The Council has produced a document of guidelines and advice on controlling stormwater run-off from earthworks.

You should also check whether your District Council has any requirements.

Realigning, diverting or piping a stream

Generally you will require a resource consent to realign, move or pipe a stream, particularly if a wetland is affected. Realignment, diversion or piping a stream is prohibited within the Stony River catchment.

What you need to ensure

A resource consent will be required unless you can meet all of these requirements:

  • The upstream catchment area is less than 25 hectares.
  • The length of stream to be changed is less than 200m long (including any sections that have previously been realigned since 1998).
  • The drainage channel is less than 4 square metres in cross-sectional area.
  • There are no effects on neighbouring properties or restrictions on anyone else's water supply or resource consent.
  • There are no significant environmental effects, including scouring or erosion, restriction of fish passage, or effect on aquatic life or habitat.
  • The Council is informed that you intend to do the work at least two working days before you start work.

Mitigation and a financial contribution will be required to offset any loss of stream habitat.

Other activities in or near streams may require a resource consent. If you are in any doubt refer to the Regional Freshwater Plan or contact the Council’s consents staff.