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The Big Stormwater Story

Join Central Hawke’s Bay’s big conversation and secure the future of our community’s stormwater network and healthy waterways.

In its Long Term Plan 2021–2023, Council identified the need for significant investment in the district’s stormwater infrastructure to meet changing legislative standards and sustain growth and development in the region, as well as the impacts of future severe weather events and climate change. Following initial consultation with stormwater focus groups following Cyclone Gabrielle in February 2023, the project team has been busy initiating maintenance works, investigating blockages and performance issues, and preparing short and long-term workplans.

Join us on the journey as Council embarks on #thebigstormwaterstory as we work to achieve long-term change.

Programme of Works 2023–2024

Stormwater work prog


Strategic Development 

In response to the multiple stormwater challenges we are facing, we are developing a stormwater strategy that will provide an overarching plan for how stormwater is managed throughout the district. This will involve collaboration and engagement with community stakeholders regarding decision-making, investment and policy, so you can expect to hear from us as it develops.

To allow our short-term projects to progress, the strategy will be separated into two phases:

Stormwater stratgey graphic

PHASE 1 (to be completed in 2024) will focus on cyclone recovery, asset management and community impacts, and will enable maintenance works and immediate project results. It will include technical engagement on direction, prioritisation and methodology of works, and set the direction for Phase 2.

PHASE 2 (to be developed in 2024) will take a holistic approach to stormwater, building on local and national-level guidance to create a true strategic direction. It will include engagement, collaboration and co-development on long-term strategic objectives for stormwater in Central Hawke’s Bay.


Stormwater FAQs

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Information regarding residential zoning in flood prone areas is available in the District Plan on the Council website. Submissions regarding our District Plan are currently closed; however, if you have feedback regarding residential zoning, please email or phone 06 857 8060.

The urban drainage network is mostly controlled by Council and drains on private rural land are the responsibility of the landowner to maintain. If an informal drain or ponding area is present on your property, it is under your ownership and management. We have a register of drains and flow paths across the district and are working on improving our policies and mapping private and public drainage to provide greater clarity.

We have heard your concerns around litter and green waste in our drains and are working with perpetrators to stop the practice. Community reporting is one of the main ways we identify stormwater contamination so please continue to report litter and liquid waste in stormwater by phoning Council Customer Service on 06 857 8060. Thank you for your mahi!

We have developed an initial draft maintenance plan that outlines the frequency and extent of open and piped drain maintenance. We continue to refine this plan with key stakeholders and aim to finalise this within existing budgets in October 2023.

To ensure stormwater flows do not exceed predevelopment levels, we use hydraulic analysis of the site and risk mitigations such as tanks and ponds. We also assess the disposal method for effects to neighbouring properties, and protect existing watercourses and overland flow paths as required. We also collect financial development contributions that can be used for public-side services such as stormwater.

Addressing the flood risk for our stormwater systems requires a holistic approach. Some of the factors affecting flooding can be addressed more easily than others. Our technical advisers have identified those projects that will provide the greatest flood risk mitigation most easily in the short term, and these will be carried out as part of Phase 1.

The longer-term, high-value work to be addressed as part of Phase 2 will take the same holistic approach and address all the flood risks factors.



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