skip to main content

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 carrying out 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 (COMPLETED as of January 2024) focused on cyclone recovery, asset management and community impacts, and enabled maintenance works and immediate project results. It included technical engagement on direction, prioritisation and methodology of works, and set the direction for Phase 2.

PHASE 2 (UNDERWAY as of February 2024) will take an 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.



  • We have now cleared a total of 4.8 kms of open drains as well as performed 2 kms of pipe flushing and addressed various blockages. 
  • Work has begun on the Kiripara Stream in the Waipukurau industrial area, following a blessing of the site on Friday 26 January.

Stormwater drain clearing progress graph

TBSWS pics

Sediment excavation and vegetation removal was completed on the Eastern Interceptor in Waipukurau, December 2023.


  • Contractors will complete work on the Kiripara Stream to improve drainage for the Waipukurau industrial area, including James, Harris and Coughlin streets.
  • Council is proposing to allocate additional funding towards stormwater maintenance within the LTP. This will allow us to address other routes servicing Watts Street, Shanly Street, Great North Road, Tutanekai Street and Takapau Road, and to perform routine maintenance on channels that have been cleared.
  • Holt Place Reserve: We are working closely with our Parks and Open Spaces team to stop the run-off onto downstream properties affecting Holt Place Reserve.
  • Kiripara Stream cultural monitoring: To increase the connection between stormwater activity and our cultural partners, we are undertaking cultural monitoring on the Kiripara Stream maintenance works. This monitoring aims to gather recommendations for better outcomes and will pave the way for ecological restoration of the stream.


  • We have cleared 4 kilometres of open drains, including such major channels as Bush Drain and the Victoria Street in Waipawa, and we have completed minor works in both Waipawa and Waipukurau on Svenson Road, Pah Flat, Coronation Park, Shanly Street, Harker Street, Woburn Street and Campbell Street.
  • We have completed 2 kms of piped network jetting and CCTV investigation in Montgomery Street, Svenson Road, Cook Street, Abbott Avenue, St Joseph’s Street and Tavistock Road, Watts Street and James Street.
  • Work has begun on the Eastern Interceptor/Belgrove Drive drain. Once completed, contractors will begin work on the Pah Flat Stream and Harris Street industrial area in Waipukurau.
  • Towards the end of the year, work on the high-priority remediation of the Duck Creek channel that connects from Central Hawke's Bay College to Mount Herbert Road in Waipukurau will begin.
  • In the new year, Council aims to address other routes servicing Abbott Avenue, Shanly Street, Brodie Place, Campbell Street and Takapau Road, including minor works on Watts Street and Great North Road.

The Big Stormwater Story FAQs

Showing search results for ""

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.

Council’s stormwater management extends to Council assets only, which you can view on this map. Drainage issues that are unrelated to Council assets are generally the responsibility of private landowners to remediate.

To improve the performance of your stormwater drains:
• be aware of flow paths through your property; look at ground levels and observe how water flows during rain events.
• remove obstructions to flow; obstructions can gather debris, blocking the drainage channel.
• direct flows away from buildings and structures.
• look at your downpipes; if they discharge onto the ground, consider whether you want stormwater in that location.
• talk to the experts! Local drainlayers are essential when dealing with drainage issues.

To learn how you can actively manage contaminants on your property and prevent blockages in our stormwater network, read Council's practice note on our website. For those not connected to the Council's stormwater network, you can apply to connect to a Council asset nearby using this form.

Alteration or blockage of the stormwater network is prohibited by the Stormwater Bylaw 2021 and can restrict flow to the network. These are primarily caused by stock fences, which can trap debris and is especially problematic when willow saplings establish in the stream, blocking flow. If you see a blockage, please report it to Council by using the Snap, Send Solve app or calling Customer Service on 06 857 8060. Where restrictions and blockages are present, Council is enforcing under the provisions of the stormwater bylaw.

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.

Council and our consultant partners have developed a maintenance plan outlining the frequency and extent of open drain maintenance required, which includes recommendations for best practice maintenance. We are currently finalising funding to implement this plan for the 2024/25 financial year, to lift the level of service provided to our community.

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.

Corrective maintenance addresses those open drains where maintenance has been deferred or not carried out. These typically require intensive works to return them to their original design dimensions and performance. Most of Council's stormwater work since Cyclone Gabrielle in February 2023 has been corrective works. We have been focused on critical channels and can now extend this maintenance to some smaller drains that act as conduits or tributaries to the main drainage channel.

This refers to the day-to-day maintenance of the drain and is intended to keep the drain functioning as per its design parameters. Beginning in the new financial year, routine maintenance will be implemented in Waipawa and Waipukurau, with regularly scheduled vegetation clearance and excavation in open channels. The frequency of works will be dependent on the criticality of the drain.

Council and our consultant partners have developed a programme of easily implemented performance improvements to the network and are currently actioning the recommendations. The programme includes bank stabilisation, pipe upsizing, flap valve investigation and stream restoration. This programme is planned to continue over the next few years, subject to the finalised stormwater strategy.


Central Hawke's Bay District Council - Copyright © 2024 Central Hawke's Bay District Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Central Hawke's Bay District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Central Hawke's Bay District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Central Hawke's Bay District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Central Hawke's Bay District Council - / +64 6 857 8060 /