We maintain 285 kilometres of the region's rivers. Rivercare meetings are held annually, usually during July or August.
NOTE: We are currently seeking additional funding from Council in order to meet the full programme outlined below within the 2019 calendar year. Flood repairs due to the April 2017 and ex-Gita events have expended current budgets and flood reserves.
Additional funding from the Districtwide Disaster Fund has been granted so that flood repairs can be completed by 01 July 2019, however with the disruption and diversion of resources due to the Wai-iti wildfire and extreme fire risk it is unlikely we will meet this deadline now.
This is an indicative program only, the Council does not guarantee that all riverworks as outlined within this document will be carried out. Riverworks necessarily have a large component of reactiveness.
Planned works may have to be deferred or may no longer be viable with emergency or flood response works taking priority at any time. Work is also subject to funding availability.
These are inspected monthly to check they are operating as intended.
Little Sydney Tide Gate - the screens on this gate are removed ahead of any significant wet weather as they become clogged and impede the water flow.
This work is to correct undesirable river alignments and protect banks and adjacent infrastructure and land from river erosion following a flood or high flow event.
It may include relocation of river gravel within the channel to realign the low flow channel, incorporation of tied or buried willows, bank reshaping and placement of rock either as discrete structures (such as groynes) or longer lengths (termed rip
Historically gravel extraction from river beds was the main source of aggregates.
Studies carried out by the Council and Landcare Research Ltd have shown that in general there is limited sustainable replenishment of gravel in our main rivers. Consents to extract gravel are now focused on land-based sites such as quarries and open pits.
Some river management projects are required to relocate gravel within sections of a river particularly where single stream channels are controlled by rock work. Typically you'll see these around meandering bends. The huge cost of maintaining the rock work necessitates training works to stabilise the active channels and minimise the need for additional rock works.
We maintain a number of modified waterways/drains in the Riwaka area such as the Little Sydney, that require silt and vegetation removal from time to time. Also some smaller waterways like Eves Valley Stream and the Redwood overflow on the Waimea plains.
Generally we don’t spray these smaller waterways to control vegetation, but use physical removal or mulching to keep them open. Over time and especially following flood events these waterways can silt up significantly so require excavation.
The Waimea and lower Wai-iti Rivers have a high incidence of illegal dumping. The Motueka highway bridge and the river bank behind Takaka township are other areas where this activity periodically takes place.
Outside of the X & Y rivers we have a policy to subsidise landowners up to 50% of the value of agreed river control or flood protection works. We are currently working to complete a number of jobs still outstanding from the ex-Gita event and from subsequent smaller events in catchments such as Wai-iti, Dove, Mārahau, Otūwhero, Westbank/Lower Motueka, Riuwaka and the Buller.
Other than the creation of new river control assets through planting or rock work, no capital works have been identified other than works to improve the performance of the Little Sydney tidal gates (details of which have yet to be finalised, to do with the inlet screens which require frequent removal due to heavy rain warnings).
There is the potential to include some minor stopbank upgrades i.e. repairing stock damage or fencing improvements into the programme should there be a lull in flood events.