Bay of Plenty Regional Council has lodged an application for resource consent to carry out erosion repair and flooding prevention works in rivers and streams around the Bay of Plenty, which is now open for public submissions.
BOPRC’s Integrated Catchments Group is seeking to replace existing consent 64684, which covers all works on waterways outside the Bay of Plenty’s major Rivers and Drainage schemes – but excludes waterways within Te Urewera, Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne, Raukūmara, Kaimai-Mamaku, and all lakes within the Rotorua Lakes area.
Works on Rivers and Drainage schemes are generally a permitted activity under the Regional Natural Resources Plan, but works in waterways outside scheme maintenance areas generally need resource consent.
The sort of works covered by the consent include repairing bank erosion, removing build-up of sediment and debris, maintaining and realigning waterways and clearing stream mouths.
The council’s application will enable the ongoing delivery of statutory functions pertaining to water quality management, soil conservation and flooding prevention under various legislation.
BOPRC rivers and drainage assets manager Kirsty Brown says there has been a consent of this type in place for more than 20 years and it had a number of benefits, particularly when repairs needed to be carried out with some urgency.
“The consent is used in situations when, for example, a landowner lets us know that their property is being threatened, or has been damaged, by a waterway. This consent means we are able to work with landowners, tangata whenua, and other interested parties in a timely way to manage that risk or take remedial action where appropriate.
“The quicker we can get to these works, the more we can reduce erosion, with less ongoing sedimentation and reduced risk of damage.”
Kirsty says the works also improve water quality and habitats for native fauna and flora with the provision of plantings, fencing of waterways and provision for fish passage all common outcomes.
Kirsty says in the last year or so her team has been in touch with a wide range of stakeholders, including many hapu and iwi groups, landowners and territorial authorities.
“I really appreciate the time that so many individuals and groups spent with us talking through any concerns or questions they had. It was a much less formal way of sharing the intent and rationale of the consent. It also meant that we could make changes to our consent application to address some of the concerns and suggestions we received, which is an excellent outcome.
“This is now the formal part of the process – it is a publically notified consent and I encourage people to read more about it and write a formal submission.”
A copy of the application and the opportunity to make a submission is at: https://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/resource-consents/notifications
Submissions close February 1, 2021.