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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.

 Related topics

 

 

Stream ecosystemshttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/plants-animals/plant-for-your-ecosystem/Pages/stream-ecosystems.aspxStream ecosystemsFind out how to care for and support stream ecosystems.aspxBiodiversity
Urban and rural stream rehabilitationhttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/looking-after-aucklands-water/water-quality-targeted-rate/Pages/urban-rural-stream-rehabilitation.aspxUrban and rural stream rehabilitationThe objective of this project is to improve the ecological health of waterways.aspxEnvironment
Caring for waterwayshttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/looking-after-aucklands-water/looking-after-our-waterways/Pages/caring-for-waterways.aspxCaring for waterwaysManage 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.aspxWater quality
Notice of undertaking a permitted activity related to fish passage affected by structureshttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/permitted-activities/nes-fw-permitted-activities/Pages/permitted-activity-for-fish-passage.aspxNotice of undertaking a permitted activity related to fish passage affected by structuresThe 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.aspxEnvironment consultation Building and consents
Consent for works within the bed of a lake or riverhttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/building-and-consents/resource-consents/types-resource-consents/regional-resource-consents/Pages/works-within-bed-lake-river.aspxConsent for works within the bed of a lake or riverFind out how to apply to work in the bed of a lake or river.aspxResource consents
Freshwater stock exclusion regulationshttps://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/environment/looking-after-aucklands-water/water-strategy-policy-standards/freshwater-management-policy-standards/Pages/compliance-monitoring-freshwater-regulations.aspxFreshwater stock exclusion regulationsFind out how recent changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan are designed to protect and regulate freshwater in Auckland and New Zealand.aspxEnvironment consultation