Update from Environment Canterbury’s Kaikoura zone manager Kevin Heays

There’s some great work going on to protect and improve our waterways. But on a recent walking survey of the Kaikōura flats and town streams and drains, our staff found many places where activities and practices were undoing the good work of others.

Most concerning was the number of sites where stock had access to waterways, as well as the amount of rubbish dumped in streams. Both activities are illegal and have a significant negative effect on water quality.

Most of the stock access issues were on lifestyle blocks, and so haven’t been noticed or reported. If you are one of these landowners, you need to act to keep your stock out of waterways (unless this is permitted).  We will be following up – and taking compliance action if we find stock in streams.

The Peketa phenomenon returns

Remember the oil-like slick and smell in the drains around Peketa which was first reported about a year ago? Well it’s back, and Environment Canterbury scientists are working to find out what it is and what can be done about it (if anything).
We’ll keep you updated.

The Kowhai River – mystery solved

The discolouration of the Kowhai River has got locals talking. We’ve looked and found it’s from the many slips that have affected the river, right up to the headwaters, caused by the November 2016 earthquake and aftershocks. The river flows over and through many of these. Problem identified…but not yet solved.

Temporary consents expire

After the North Canterbury earthquake, the central government put in a Order in Council which allowed us to issue consents for emergency work in order to get businesses and activities back up and running faster than usual. However the time is up on this order and so if you still have emergency work to be done, you will need to apply for a consent. Please check with Environment Canterbury customer services by calling 03 319 5178 or pop in and see us if you need to do this or are unsure about your responsibilities.

Home water storage – keep it up

Remember it’s a great idea to capture and store rainwater from roof run-off – this helps to reduce the demand on the reticulated supply. We also recommend households have at least three days of emergency drinking water supplies. If you’d like another copy of the Waterwise booklet produced by the Kaikōura Water Zone Committee – pop in and see us.

Drainage management – get ready for winter

Do you know where your storm water and run-off goes?  If you're a property owner – urban or rural – this is something you need to know, so read on. Drains need to be maintained and kept clear to ensure good flow. This not only prevents flooding on your property, it reduces the risk to neighbouring properties as well.

As a property owner the primary responsibility sits with you.  If there is flooding and damage that results from a lack of drain maintenance, you could be liable. If you are looking at creating new drains there are new procedures –
so please find out before you get started.

If you’re not sure what to do, or need more information on drain management, pop in and have a chat with Pete Adams in the Kaikōura office or give him a call on 027 351-534.

Open fires, but not in town

It’s an open fire season in Kaikōura, meaning Fire and Emergency New Zealand does not require someone to have a permit to burn outdoors.  However, Environment Canterbury rules must still be followed to reduce nuisance smoke and ensure good air quality. 

This means outdoor burning is not allowed on properties measuring under two hectares, regardless of whether they are rural or urban.  Burning plastic, household waste or treated wood on your home’s wood burner is also not permitted. There are penalties for not following the rules.

Find out more about outdoor burning or give us a call.  The fire season status can be viewed on checkitsalright.nz.

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