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4.2.9 Culverts

4.2.9.1 Permitted Activity Rule – Catchments Not Exceeding Five Hectares

Exception

This Rule does not apply to:

Plantation forestry activities as from 1 May 2018 these activities are regulated under the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry Regulations 2017.

 

Unless controlled by Rule 4.2.5.1 the following activities:

  1. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of a culvert, and associated bed disturbances, in or on the bed of a river for catchments not exceeding five hectares upstream of the culvert, and
  2. The subsequent diversion and discharge of water through the culvert, and
  3. Any discharge of sediment associated with construction activities, and
  4. The associated deposition of construction materials

are permitted activities subject to the following conditions:

  1. Any such culvert shall be designed so that a two percent annual exceedance probability (1 in 50 year) flood event shall not cause any increase in upstream water levels which causes flooding on neighbouring properties.
  2. Culverts shall be designed to safely overtop without causing structural failure, or include a spillway, to ensure safe passage of flood flows where the two percent annual exceedance probability flood flow will overtop the embankment over the culvert.
  3. The structure shall not cause:
    1. water depth upstream to exceed three metres, and
    2. the water level immediately upstream to exceed the water level immediately downstream by more than three metres
  4. The structure shall not be located in any permanently flowing water body or in the headwaters of any river identified for Natural State purposes in the Water Management Class Maps of this Plan.
  5. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme, or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  6. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition e) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the use, erection, reconstruction, placement, extension or alteration, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  7. The construction works shall comply with the suspended solids discharge standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.
  8. Any erosion occurring as a result of the structure or diversion and discharge of water shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  9. No discharge shall be made outside of the natural catchment.
  10. This Rule shall not apply to activities located in, on, under or over the bed of a river or lake that is a Significant Geothermal Feature.

Advisory Note:

  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activity, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition f) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.
  • Where a structure or activity is to be located in, on, under or over the bed of a water body that is Significant Geothermal Feature, Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3 shall apply. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

 

4.2.9.2 Permitted Activity Rule – Culverts for Catchments Not Exceeding 100 Hectares

Exception

This Rule does not apply to:

Plantation forestry activities as from 1 May 2018 these activities are regulated under the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry Regulations 2017.

 

Unless controlled by Rule 4.2.9.1 and Rule 4.2.5.1 the following activities:

  1. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of a culvert, and associated bed disturbance, in or on the bed of a river or lake for a catchment area not exceeding one square kilometre (100 hectares) upstream of the culvert, and
  2. The subsequent diversion and discharge of water through the culvert, and
  3. Any discharge of sediment associated with construction activities; and
  4. The associated deposition of construction materials

are permitted activities subject to the following conditions:

  1. Any such culvert shall be designed so that a two percent annual exceedance probability (1 in 50 year) flood event shall not cause any increase in upstream water levels which causes flooding on neighbouring properties.
  2. The structure shall provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream.
  3. There shall be no obstruction of debris that causes flooding on neighbouring properties.
  4. The culvert invert shall be submerged when water is flowing.
  5. Culverts shall be designed to safely overtop without causing structural failure, or include a spillway to ensure safe passage of flood flows where the two percent annual exceedance probability flood flow will overtop the embankment over the culvert.
  6. The structure shall not cause;
  1. water depth upstream to exceed three metres, and
  2. the water level immediately upstream to exceed the water level immediately downstream by more than three metres.
  1. The construction works shall comply with the suspended solids discharge standards as set out in Section 4.2.21.
  2. This Rule does not apply within a Natural State water body as identified in the Water Management Class Maps of this Plan.
  3. All equipment and surplus construction materials shall be removed from the river or lake bed and the floodplain on the completion of that activity.
  4. No contaminants (including, but not limited to, oil, hydraulic fluids, petrol, diesel, other fuels, paint or solvents, but excluding sediment) shall be discharged to water from the activity.
  5. The owner of the structure shall inform the Waikato Regional Council in writing, at least 10 working days prior to commencing construction, of the location of the structure and whether that structure is located within a flood control or drainage scheme managed by the Waikato Regional Council or a territorial authority.
  6. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme, or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  7. In the event of any waahi tapu that is not subject to condition l) being identified by the Waikato Regional Council to the person undertaking the use, erection, reconstruction, placement, extension or alteration, the activity shall cease insofar as it may affect the waahi tapu. The activity shall not be recommenced without the approval of the Waikato Regional Council.
  8. Any erosion occurring as a result of the structure or diversion and discharge of water shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  9. No discharge shall be made outside of the natural catchment.
  10. This rule shall not apply to activities located in, on, under or over the bed of a river or lake that is a Significant Geothermal Feature.

Advisory Note:

  • Where a waahi tapu site is identified whilst undertaking the activitiy, the process that Waikato Regional Council will follow in order to implement condition m) is set out in Section 2.3.4.22 of this Plan.
  • Where a structure or activity is to be located in, on, under or over the bed of a water body that is Significant Geothermal Feature, Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3 shall apply. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

4.2.9.3 Controlled Activity Rule - Culverts for Catchment Areas Not Exceeding 500 Hectares

Exception

This Rule does not apply to:

Plantation forestry activities as from 1 May 2018 these activities are regulated under the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry Regulations 2017.

 

Any activity unable to comply with Rules 4.2.9.1 or 4.2.9.2 or unless controlled by Rule 4.2.5.1, the following activities:

  1. The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of a culvert, and associated bed disturbance, in or on the bed of a river or lake for a catchment area exceeding 100 hectares but not exceeding 500 hectares upstream of the culvert, and
  2. The subsequent diversion and discharge of water through the culvert, and
  3. Any discharge of sediment associated with construction activities; and
  4. The associated deposition of construction materials

are controlled activities (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. Any such culvert shall be designed so that a two percent annual exceedance probability (1 in 50 year) flood event shall not cause any increase in upstream water levels which causes flooding on neighbouring properties.
  2. The structure shall provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream in water bodies classified as Significant Indigenous Fisheries and Fish Habitats
  3. There shall be no obstruction of debris that causes flooding on neighbouring properties.
  4. This Rule does not apply within a Natural State water body as identified in the Water Management Class Maps of this Plan.
  5. All construction materials and equipment shall be removed from the river or lake bed and the floodplain on the completion of that activity.
  6. No contaminants (including, but not limited to, oil, hydraulic fluids, petrol, diesel, other fuels, paint or solvents, but excluding sediment) shall be discharged to water from the activity.
  7. The activity shall not disturb any archaeological site or waahi tapu as identified at the date of notification of this Plan, in any district plan, in the NZ Archaeological Association’s Site Recording Scheme, or by the Historic Places Trust except where Historic Places Trust approval has been obtained.
  8. Any erosion occurring as a result of the structure and diversion and discharge shall be remedied as soon as practicable.
  9. No discharge shall be made outside of the natural catchment.
  10. This rule shall not apply to activities located in, on, under or over the bed of a river or lake that is a Significant Geothermal Feature.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. The invert level of the culvert.
  2. Measures to provide for the safe passage of fish both upstream and downstream when the culvert is located in water bodies not classified as Significant Indigenous Fisheries and Fish Habitat.
  3. Techniques for ensuring safe passage of flood water (spillway requirements).
  4. Measures to control the effect on the activity of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna1.
  5. Measures to prevent damage to riparian vegetation or soil.
  6. The design and location of the culvert.
  7. The potential effects on bed and bank stability and water quality.
  8. Measures to control the effect of the activity on upstream or downstream properties.
  9. Measures to control the effects of the activity on any lawfully established structures.
  10. Measures to control suspended solids discharges.
  11. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the natural character of the beds of rivers and lakes.
  12. Measures to ensure consistency with criteria as set out in any applicable Water Management Class in this Plan.
  13. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity.
  14. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.
  15. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.

Notification: 
Applications for resource consents for activities under this Rule will be considered without notification or the need to obtain written approval of affected persons, in accordance with s94(1)(b) of the RMA.

Advisory Notes:

  • The use, erection, reconstruction, placement, alteration or extension of a culvert in or on the bed of a river or lake that does not comply with Rule 4.2.9.3 is a discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 4.2.4.4.
  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under Rule 4.2.9.3 are set out in Section 8.1.3.1. In addition assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in Policy 2 of Section 4.2.3.
  • Waikato Regional Council staff are able to provide information on the location and boundaries of flood control and drainage areas within the Region.
  • Refer to Section 3.6.4 for methods and rules concerning the damming and diverting of water.
  • The following steps should be followed in order to calculate the catchment size above the proposed culvert site:
  1. Locate the site of the proposed culvert on a plan or topographical map
  2. Identify all the watercourses (streams & drains) that drain to the upstream side of the culvert.
  3. Draw a catchment boundary. This will encompass an area of land that includes all of the watercourses upstream of the site for the proposed the culvert. Start at the culvert site and follow the divide between the identified watercourses and others, following the tops of ridges where they are evident, finishing back at the culvert.
  4. Measure the area within the catchment boundary. As a guide one square on a topographical map (scale 1:50,000) equals one square kilometre.
  • Rule 4.2.19.1 permits gradient control structures. Gradient control structures can be used as a means of ensuring compliance with 4.2.9.2 d) and to prevent or remediate erosion at the outlet to the culvert. They can also be used to facilitate fish passage upstream and downstream of the culvert.
  • The imposition of consent conditions relating to matters xiii), xiv) and xv) shall take into account the policy direction provided in Policies 1 and 2 in Section 2.3.3 in addition to specific policies in this chapter of the Plan.
  • Where a structure or activity is to be located in, on, under or over the bed of a water body that is Significant Geothermal Feature, Rules 7.6.6.1 to 7.6.6.3 shall apply. Significant Geothermal Features are defined in the Glossary, and in Development and Limited Development Geothermal Systems, identified on maps in Section 7.10 of this Plan.

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 4.2.9.1 to 4.2.9.3
Culverts for catchments (excluding perennial rivers and catchments in Natural State water bodies) not exceeding five hectares are permitted activities in Rule 4.2.9.1. These areas have minor or no fisheries values and only occur on very short streams or at the extreme headwaters of rivers where there are unlikely to be fisheries values. Also, many of these areas are steep or in situations where it is impractical to put a culvert to provide for fish passage. It is necessary to permit these activities to encourage use of bridges as an alternative to livestock crossing.

The subsequent diversion and discharge of water through the culvert is also provided for in the rules concerning culverts. The purpose is to align rules for damming, diversion and discharge of water with rules concerning culverts. Culverts are often used as a means of diverting and discharging water. Under s14 of the RMA a resource consent is required to divert or discharge water unless permitted by a rule in a regional plan. Rules 4.2.9.1, 4.2.9.2 and 4.2.9.3 ensure that where diverting and discharging are undertaken in conjunction with culverts that the consent requirements are the same.

Culverts for catchments not exceeding one square kilometre (100 hectares) are a permitted activity in Rule 4.2.9.2 because in these areas the flows produced can be adequately coped with by culvert structures that are simple to install and should not require specific design. Also, rivers within these catchments are likely to be ephemeral or intermittently flowing water bodies and culverts will have only minor effects on fisheries values.

Culverts for catchment areas exceeding 100 hectares but not exceeding 500 hectares, are provided for in Rule 4.2.9.3. It is considered that specialist consideration is required because of higher water flows, and this is provided for by a controlled activity rule. Some core standards and terms are the same as conditions for the permitted activity rules. Control is retained over a number of matters which are best considered on an individual consent application basis. These matters may vary according to the specific circumstances of a particular consent. Culverts in catchments exceeding 500 hectares are likely to require specialist instream design and are therefore discretionary activities. Such culverts will be of a large size, be able to divert and discharge large volumes of water, and potentially have significant adverse effects on fish passage and the beds and banks of rivers.

 

Diagram showing rules for culvert inverts.

Diagram showing rules for culvert upstream water depth.

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