Defences against water Code of Practice

The Land and Water Regional Plan enables works by local authorities and network utility operators to be undertaken on defences against water as a permitted activity, provided a number of conditions are met. One of the conditions is that the work is carried out in accordance with the Canterbury Regional Defences Against Water and Drainage Schemes Code of Practice (July 2015).

Ecan flood protectionFor clarity, a defence against water has been defined as from the Canterbury Land & Regional Water Plan (LWRP):

“Any structure or equipment, including any bund, weir, spillway, floodgate, bank, stopbank, retaining wall, rock or erosion protection structure, groyne, vegetation (including anchored tree protection) or reservoir, that is designed to have the effect of stopping, diverting, controlling, restricting or otherwise regulating the flow, energy or spread of water, including floodwaters, in or out of a water body, artificial watercourse, or artificial lake. For the purpose of this definition, dams are excluded”

About the Code of Practice

The Code of Practice has been developed in consultation with other Local Authorities, Network Utility Operators and key stakeholders such as the Department of Conservation and Fish and Game and our partners Te Rununga o Ngai Tahu.

This Code of Practice outlines how work on defences against water can be conducted in a way to minimise the environmental, cultural and social impact of this work in rivers.

Local authorities and Network Utility Operators apply to Environment Canterbury to have works programmes certified as being in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Practice.

Environment Canterbury’s River Engineering section also uses this Code of Practice to guide how we undertake our works on our drainage schemes.

For more information on the Code of Practice, please contact customer services.

Read the current Code of Practice.

Reviewing the Code of Practice

The Code of Practice has been operative for three years and went through its first review at the end of 2018.

Key updates

  • Updated references to key guidance documents such as the National Fish Passage Guidelines and the Erosion and Sediment Control Toolbox
  • Strengthened provisions for protecting natural character, significant natural areas, terrestrial biodiversity, and native fish spawning
  • Clarification around the certification and Code of Practice review processes

Incorporation into LWRP

The updated version of the Code of Practice will be incorporated by reference into the Land and Water Regional Plan through Plan Change 7. There is an opportunity to submit on the proposal to incorporate the updated Code of Practice into the Plan when Plan Change 7 is publicly notified in the middle of this year.

You can read the updated Code of Practice here. Until the Plan Change is publicly notified, the current version of the Code of Practice applies.

Contact us

Please contact our customer services team for further information on the updates to the Code of Practice or the upcoming public submission period for Plan Change 7.