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Your responsibilities as owner of a private watercourse

Ō kawenga mō tō whaipānga ki tētahi ara rerenga wai

​If you own a watercourse, you are responsible for ensuring that:

  • litter and pollutants do not enter the watercourse
  • there are no obstructions or impediments to the flow of water
  • grates or outlets within your property are kept clear of debris at all times
  • any work you do in relation to a watercourse must comply with the Stormwater Bylaw
  • any related earthworks must comply with the provisions of the Unitary Plan and the Stormwater Code of Practice.    

Examples of works done on a watercourse

  • Design and construction of pipes or other structures (requires a building consent[link])
  • Earthworks around or in your watercourse
  • Maintenance.

You should know

If you are the property owner, you have to pay for all costs of works on a private watercourse.

If you don't comply

If you do not carry out your responsibilities as a watercourse owner, we could serve you notice under:

  • section 511 of the Local Government Act
  • sections 13 and 14 of the Litter Act 1979
  • the Resource Management Act 1991.

You could also face:

  • civil proceedings with an affected property owner if you don't carry out your responsibilities and cause damage to their property
  • notice from us for any breach of the Stormwater Bylaw
  • an environmental infringement notice and fine
  • a litter notice and fine.

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