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Who maintains watercourses

​What are watercourses?

A watercourse is a natural or man-made open channel where water collects and flows.

It can be a:

  • river
  • stream
  • gully
  • natural depression
  • ditch
  • drainage channel
  • culvert or pipe that replaces a natural open channel.

It is part of the stormwater system. It may be privately or publicly owned.

A man-made watercourse is either constructed by us or privately constructed but now owned by us.

Private watercourses

Our tip

Before buying a property, get a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) to know if there is a watercourse on the property.

Generally, property owners are responsible for maintaining watercourses running through their property from the point of entry to the exit point of the property boundary.

If you are unsure whether you have a watercourse on your property, contact us or see the GIS viewer.

To know more about maintaining watercourses, see Caring for waterways.

Watercourses that we maintain

Auckland Council maintains watercourses on public property.

These include:

  • channels in parks and reserves
  • lakes
  • ponds
  • rivers
  • streams
  • wetlands.

There are streams on private property that we also maintain because of the overflow from combined sewers:

  • Meola Stream
  • Oakley Stream
  • Motions Stream.

We sometimes do work on private watercourses if there is an immediate concern for public safety. For example, if a culvert is blocked due to eroding stream banks.

Watercourse flooding


If flooding or blockage of the watercourse poses risk to life or property, phone 111 urgently.

Low risk

If there is no immediate risk to life or property, contact us.

Public safety concern

If you see any public watercourses that require maintenance, contact us.

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