Otago Regional Council Flood Protection Management Bylaw Review

13 Apr 22

Otago Regional Council (ORC) has undertaken its 10-yearly review of its Flood Protection Management Bylaw 2012 (2012 Bylaw) and prepared its Proposed Flood Protection Management Bylaw 2022 (Proposed Bylaw).

The Proposed Bylaw has implications for landowners and occupiers adjacent to flood protection works undertaken by ORC. The general areas that the bylaw applies to are:

  • Lower Clutha
  • Tokomairiro
  • Lower, East and West Taieri
  • Leith Lindsay
  • Hilderthorpe
  • Waitaki
  • Alexandra

Anyone wishing to check whether they are specifically affected can do so by searching their address using the Draft Flood Protection Bylaw Map on the ORC website.

The Proposed Bylaw identifies activities which require ORC authority if undertaken on, or in proximity to, flood protection and land drainage works. Its purpose is to “manage, regulate and protect the effective operation and integrity of flood protection works owned by, or under the control of Council” in order to protect communities and minimise damage from flood events.[1]

The Proposed Bylaw proposes to amend the 2012 Bylaw by:

  • Expanding the land disturbance restrictions to include all earthworks;
  • Allowing cultivation within 20 metres of a defence against water and within 50 metres of a groyne or cross-bank to enable landowners to undertake usual farming activities;
  • Adding restrictions around the planting or growing of shrubs, hedges or trees within specified areas;
  • Adding restrictions around removing trees on or near defences against water;
  • Adding restrictions around removing or altering structures between the bank of a river and any associated defence against water;
  • Adding reference to training lines which are to be subject to the provisions in this section;
  • Placing restrictions on activity at the Shotover Delta Training Line and the Albert Town rock buttress;
  • Combining ‘plantings’ and ‘anchored tree protection’ under ‘flood protection vegetation’ and implementing specific rules (e.g. restricting stock grazing) within these areas;
  • Adding diagrams of drains, overland flow paths and defences against water in Appendix 1; and
  • Amending and updating the maps in the Schedule.

More information on the Proposed Bylaw is available here.

Next steps

Anyone wishing to make a submission on the Proposed Bylaw must do so before 12.00pm on Monday 2 May 2022. Submissions can be made via the online survey or by completing and emailing the submission form to floodbylawreview@orc.govt.nz.

There will then be an opportunity to be heard in support of submissions at the hearing on Wednesday 4 May 2022.

ORC will make a decision on the Proposed Bylaw on Wednesday 22 June 2022 and is required to formally adopt it by August 2022.


[1]Otago Regional Council Proposed Flood Protection Bylaw 2022 at 1.0.


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the Proposed Bylaw, please contact our specialist Environment, planning and natural resources team.

PDF version: here.