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Works in and around rivers and streams
Protecting our rivers and streams
Managing our effects on the beds of rivers and streams is important for the protection of:
- natural ecological and biodiversity values
- the efficient passage of flood flows
- the retention of high water quality.
We can look after our rivers and streams by:
- retaining the natural profile and course of the river or stream
- keeping riparian vegetation
- providing for fish passage
- avoiding sediment generation from bed disturbance.
Rules and regulations for rivers and streams
The Government’s Essential Freshwater package aims to:
- stop the loss of rivers
- limit the reclamation of riverbeds
- provide for fish passage in our rivers.
The National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NESF) includes regulations relating to reclamation of rivers and introduces new rules relating to the design of culverts, weirs, flap gates, fords and dams to provide for the passage of fish.
See National Environmental Standards for Freshwater - Identifying the connected area of a river when applying the fish passage regulations (PDF 884KB) for more information on when these regulations apply.
The Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) (PDF 217KB) also contains provisions relating to works that may be undertaken in and around streams and rivers.
Before carrying out works in and around rivers and streams, check to ensure you comply with both the NESF and AUP standards.
Resource consents and permitted activities
If you are planning work in or around a river or stream, you may need to apply for a resource consent.
Even if a resource consent is not required for the work because it is a permitted activity, you may still be required to notify us once you complete the works.
See Notice of undertaking a permitted activity related to fish passage affected by structures for more information.
Fish Passage Action Plan
For fish to live and breed in our streams and rivers, we need to ensure they can swim freely without unnecessary restriction.
We are developing a Fish Passage Action Plan that will:
- raise awareness of the importance of native fish and fish passage
- identify barriers to fish migration (such as culverts and weirs)
- support and promote fish passage remediation projects.
|Stream ecosystems||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/plants-animals/plant-for-your-ecosystem/Pages/stream-ecosystems.aspx||Stream ecosystems||Find out how to care for and support stream ecosystems.||aspx||Biodiversity|
|Urban and rural stream rehabilitation||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/looking-after-aucklands-water/water-quality-targeted-rate/Pages/urban-rural-stream-rehabilitation.aspx||Urban and rural stream rehabilitation||The objective of this project is to improve the ecological health of waterways.||aspx||Environment|
|Caring for waterways||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/looking-after-aucklands-water/looking-after-our-waterways/Pages/caring-for-waterways.aspx||Caring for waterways||Manage your stream by adding plants and rocks to slow down the flow of water and reduce erosion. Keep the stream free of rubbish and chemicals. Avoid spreading freshwater pests.||aspx||Water quality|
|Notice of undertaking a permitted activity related to fish passage affected by structures||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/permitted-activities/nes-fw-permitted-activities/Pages/permitted-activity-for-fish-passage.aspx||Notice of undertaking a permitted activity related to fish passage affected by structures||The National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F) regulate structures, such as a dam or culvert, that affect the passage of fish within rivers or areas connected by water.||aspx||Environment consultation
Building and consents|
|Consent for works within the bed of a lake or river||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/resource-consents/types-resource-consents/regional-resource-consents/Pages/works-within-bed-lake-river.aspx||Consent for works within the bed of a lake or river||Find out how to apply to work in the bed of a lake or river.||aspx||Resource consents|
|Freshwater stock exclusion regulations||https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/looking-after-aucklands-water/water-strategy-policy-standards/freshwater-management-policy-standards/Pages/compliance-monitoring-freshwater-regulations.aspx||Freshwater stock exclusion regulations||Find out how recent changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan are designed to protect and regulate freshwater in Auckland and New Zealand.||aspx||Environment consultation|