Earthworks & stream diversion

Land recontouring and stream diversion require careful management to avoid or mitigate impacts on the environment.

Earthworks & control of stormwater

You need to limit the likelihood of sediment run-off to streams. Minor earthworks are allowed without a resource consent.

What you need to ensure

You won't need a resource consent for stormwater run-off from earthworks if:

  • You are working in a small area (less than one hectare).
  • The volume of disturbed material is less than 3000 cubic metres.
  • The area is stabilised as soon as possible after the earthworks have been completed.
  • The run-off does not contain levels of sediment that would have a significant effect on water quality.
  • There are unlikely to be significant adverse effects on the quality of water or wetlands.

If earthworks extend over a larger area (between one hectare and eight hectares), you don’t require a resource consent as long as:

  • The volume is less than 24,000 cubic metres.
  • Soil stabilisation is undertaken as soon as practicable.
  • You meet the other requirements listed above.
  • You are not doing the work between 1 May and 31 October.

You must meet all of these requirements. Otherwise, you will need a resource consent.

Please refer to the relevant Waikato Regional Council (external link)guidelines, which also apply in Taranaki.

Please also see updates:

Decanting earth bund(external link)

Sediment retention pond(external link)

Silt fence(external link)

You should also check whether your District Council has any requirements.

Realigning, diverting or piping a stream

These guidelines are currently being updated, in light of new Government freshwater regulations that came into force on September 3, 2020. 

Please note the regulations widen the range of activities requiring resource consents and tighten restrictions for many activities covered by existing rules.

If your farm or business is undertaking or planning operational changes or developments involving any aspect of fresh water or waterways, you should check if they apply. Even if you haven’t needed a resource consent for such work in the past, it’s important you talk to Council staff.

Please contact the consents team at the Council.