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New Bylaw Protects Southland’s Stop Bank Network

May 27, 2020
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At yesterday’s Council meeting, the revised Southland Flood Control Management Bylaw was adopted.

The bylaw, which becomes operative on Saturday 23 May, aims to manage and protect the integrity of Environment Southland’s assets like stop banks, detention dams, bridges, culverts and tide gate structures which all assist in controlling flooding and protecting our communities.

Environment Southland’s catchment manager Paddy Haynes said the stop bank network was incredibly important to protecting many of Southland’s towns and rural properties. “The revised bylaw essentially restricts the types of activities that can happen in a floodway or near stop banks. This includes any modification, planting, construction, storage of anything (such as baleage) and earthworks.”

Some activities that occur in the flood control area require authorization from Environment Southland.

Baleage proved to be a big issue in the February floods when around 2000 bales were shifted downstream by floodwaters, causing widespread damage to property and flood control assets in Southland.

“Good placement of baleage is important, not only for flood management but it also protects soils from heavy vehicles when conditions are wet,” Paddy said.

“Baleage needs to be stored appropriately so that we’re reducing the risk that it could cause a hazard in a future flood, either by potentially obstructing the flow of water, or by being shifted downstream by floodwaters.”

Maintaining and improving flood protection infrastructure is an important part of Environment Southland’s work. Through our comprehensive annual maintenance programme, we look after Southland’s 458 kilometres of stop banks that protect people, property and livelihoods.

The previous bylaw was reviewed last year and was notified for public submissions in October. The final adopted version of the bylaw will be available online from Saturday (23 May). One of the new additions is a set of maps making the floodway and stop bank network more easily identified by landowners.

If you need advice on baleage storage or other aspects of this new flood control management bylaw, please contact 0800 76 88 45 or email [email protected] To apply for an authority under the new bylaw, go to www.es.govt.nz.

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