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  Services » Regional Services » River and catchment management » Managing our region’s rivers and catchments » River management guidelines

River management guidelines

Good river management protects our property and land from damage. Waikato Regional Council and landowners have responsibilities to maintain and protect our waterways. Working together ensures our rivers are healthy and well managed.

Photo of unplanted river bank On this page:
River management benefits, Good river management, Working together, How we can help you, Landowner responsibilities, Useful links

Waikato Regional Council has overall responsibility for managing rivers and streams in the Waikato region. It is also the owner, manager and operator of a number of assets including:

Waikato Regional Council River and Catchment Services has the role of maintaining these existing assets and planning and implementing new works. When carrying out this work, consideration is given to river and stream systems as a whole, providing a co-ordinated approach to what happens on the ground. This includes:

  • proactive management
  • working with landowners, agencies and interested parties
  • enhancement of our environment's Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands.

As part of our commitment to working with the community, guidelines have been developed which set out the river management responsibilities of landowners and Waikato Regional Council.

Find out more about River and Catchment Management in the Waikato region.


Photo of planted river bank

River management benefits

Good river management practice helps protect your property and land from damage. Effective river management reduces:

  • erosion - protecting your valuable soil
  • sedimentation – improving water quality
  • damage from flooding – saving you money.

Good river management also improves recreational opportunities (for example, swimming) and habitat for aquatic plants and animals (for example, whitebait).

Rivers also hold cultural, recreational and aesthetic value. They are a source of water and are home to a variety of aquatic animals and plants.

By managing rivers and streams we help protect our quality of life.

Find out more about managing waterway areas and the benefits to you and the environment.

Good river management

Aspects of good river management include:

  • maintaining vegetation
  • clearing obstructions and preventing plants and other objects, such as logs, from blocking waterways
  • gravel management in some areas
  • erosion control
  • pest control.

You can protect river banks from erosion by:

  • stock management – for example, fencing to keep stock out of rivers and other waterways
  • planting the riverbank – for example, with natives.

Working together

Waikato Regional Council is responsible for the overall River and Catchment Management in the Waikato region.

Landowners are responsible for normal maintenance of rivers and streams on and around their property.

By working together, Waikato Regional Council and landowners can ensure all responsibilities are met and our rivers are healthy and well managed.

How we can help you

Information, advice and co-ordination

Waikato Regional Council provides advice and information to landowners on good river management practices, and can co-ordinate activities of contracted work.

Financial assistance

Waikato Regional Council has a number of river and catchment schemes, which provide funding and assistance for river management..

The removal of obstructions

Waikato Regional Council undertakes the removal of major blockages and obstructions beyond normal landowner maintenance.

Erosion control

Waikato Regional Council undertakes the control of significant erosion in the Region where it involves a number of landowner properties and stakeholders.

Free advice and information is also available to help landowners manage river bank erosion on individual properties.

Gravel management

Waikato Regional Council can arrange the removal of gravel that has built up in a channel after a flood event or from normal river deposits where appropriate.

Landowner responsibilities

You can help look after the health of our rivers by:

  • managing stock to keep them out of rivers and other waterways
  • planting vegetation to protect and stabilise river banks
  • maintaining vegetation to prevent waterway obstruction
  • managing animal and plant pests.

Useful links

Find out more about how Waikato Regional Council's financial assistance initiatives can help you manage rivers and streams in your area.

Find out more about Waikato Regional Council's role in river management in our Regional Policy Statement and section 3.1 of our Waikato Regional Plan.

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