New flood and drainage bylaws in BOP

Opotiki semi-rural stopbank.

People who live, work or use the land around a stopbank or other flood defence and drainage areas in the Bay of Plenty may need to check out the new rules from Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaws 2020 came into effect last month, following an extensive review and consultation process over the past 18 months.

BOPRC rivers and drainage assets manager, Kirsty Brown, says the bylaws coming into effect is a significant milestone for Toi Moana.

“Our flood protection and drainage structures form the backbone of our flood defences, and it is really important that they work when they need to,” says Kirsty.

“This is why we have these in place, and we encourage people to check in to see if they are in a bylaw applicable area.

“If you are planning any works in and around stopbanks or pump stations, please check with the Regional Council first, because you may need our approval before starting.”

Kirsty says the rules are about striking a balance between public use of these spaces and safety.

“Council needs to know about any risks to the integrity of the flood protection structures or of any activities that we might need to keep an eye on. It is worth noting that this applies whether it is an urban or rural environment – flood assets are found in both.

“There are some really practical rules in place like ‘look up and live’, so people don’t hit overhead wires, or ‘check before you dig’ to make sure you don’t hit an underground cable.

“If you are considering constructing or removing a building or structure, installing a culvert, planting or removing trees, or undertaking something larger-scale like converting land to horticulture, please take a moment to visit our website and check what you need to do.

“Or, feel free to ring and talk to someone in the assets team. We can let you know if you are in an applicable area and provide advice on how to apply for a bylaw authority if you need one.

“Make sure you know the rules before you start work to prevent any issues.”

The bylaw will be reviewed every 10 years. More information is available via:, or by calling: 0800 884 880.


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