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StormwaterWai āwha

What is stormwater? Where are our network and drains, and how do I make a new connection to the network?


Council maintains a number of stormwater and drainage systems which provide adequate capacity to dispose of stormwater to prevent undue nuisance and disturbance or damage to property.

Council also maintains a number of open drains into the town areas of Waipukurau and Waipawa. These are maintained as part of Council’s normal functions. Council expects the maintenance of other open drains to be carried out by the landowner. Stormwater connections must be installed by a contractor approved by the Council for installation of storm water connections.

An application must be completed and approved by Council before any action by an approved contractor. New connections are charged directly to the customer by the contractor.

Frequently Asked Questions

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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, which you can view on this map, andwe 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.


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