River-based gravel extraction
Gravel lying naturally in riverbeds is a convenient source of aggregate for commercial or private use. Extracting it offers a cost-effective method of managing flooding and erosion hazards.
River Gravel Management Strategy review
We're reviewing our framework for managing river-based gravel extraction across Waitaha Canterbury.
Thank you for sharing your views through our online survey.
We'll use your feedback to develop a new strategy in early 2023.
You’ll need permission to extract gravel either as a permitted activity or by obtaining a gravel authorisation or a resource consent – each of which are explained below.
Extractions are controlled by various rules in our regional plans depending on your intended activity and other activities that may be associated with the excavation, such as working in flowing water, using temporary culverts, temporarily diverting channels or discharging dust into the air.
Proposed changes to the Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP)
Proposed changes to the Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) have been notified, which means you must consider the proposed changes when determining if you can undertake works as a permitted activity, or if you need a resource consent.
How to read the plan changes
You can download Proposed Plan Change 7 to the Canterbury LWRP (PDF File, 3.91MB) and go to section 5.147-5.153 "Gravel for Lakes and River Beds".
Gravel Take newsletter
Four to six times a year we send out a newsletter with gravel industry news.
Extracting gravel - what you need to know
Everything you need to know about extracting gravel from riverbeds can be found in section 2.2 of the River Gravel Extraction Code of Practice (PDF File, 4.62MB) and under the drop-down menus below.
- Small volumes of gravel may be extracted as a permitted activity under our regional plans.
- A gravel authorisation may be obtained to extract gravel on behalf of Environment Canterbury for up to 60,000m³ for 12 months (30,000m³ in South Canterbury).
- A gravel permit may be issued to extract gravel under the resource consents we hold.
- Obtain a resource consent.
Work out which option suits your needs and how much it will cost using the table below.
Please note that gravel charges are based on the volume of gravel authorised to be extracted, even if you end up taking none. However, you can apply to have your resource consent varied to change the volume of material allocated to a particular resource consent.
This means your overall gravel charge will be reduced but any charges based on the original consented volume paid prior to the change of conditions will not be refunded.
|Permitted activity||Gravel authorisation||Resource consent|
|Volume||5m³/yr - 50 m³/yr
River dependent – contact us for your site.
|South Canterbury: 30,000m³ max
Central/North: 60,000m³ max.
Note: our river engineers advocate for the same maximum volumes as gravel authorisations.
|Duration||No restriction||12 months maximum.||
Up to 35 years.
Note: long durations are unlikely, our river engineers advocate for a max. duration of 12 months.
Although not compulsory a Certificate of Compliance can be sought for $1,300
|1,500m³ or less: $345
Greater than 1,500m³: $862.50 (includes GST).
Application fixed deposit:
<20,000 m3 per annum $2,500
|Gravel management fee||Nil||$0.11/m³||$0.11/m³|
|Monitoring charges||Nil||$166.50 per hour for monitoring
$105.00 per hour for administration (includes GST)
|$166.50 per hour for monitoring
$105.00 per hour for administration
To ensure that the objectives of the Gravel Management Strategy are met, any Gravel Authorisation applications we accept must fit the following criteria:
- The extraction of gravel is located within a river rating district (the management of gravel is one of our tools for flood and erosion management); or
- The extraction will alleviate an existing flooding or erosion problem (outside of river rating districts).
Please fill in the online availability form to enquire about proposed locations.
Gravel authorisations will have standard rules specified in the River Gravel Extraction Code of Practice (PDF File, 4.6 MB); however, variations to these standard conditions may be requested on your gravel authorisation application form (PDF File, 172.97).
- Clarence River and its tributaries
- Waimakariri River and its tributaries (above Woodstock) including:
- Bealey River
- Cass River
- Orari River: Mouth to Factory Rd bridge
- Opihi River: Temuka River Confluence to SH79 Bridge in Fairlie
- Temuka River: Opihi River confluence to Oxford Crossing Rd
- Waihi River: Oxford Crossing Rd to Beeby Rd
- Tengawai River: Opihi Confluence to Albury
- Waitaki River: SH1 Bridge to Dam
- Hakataramea River
- Any salmon spawning site, inanga spawning habitat, or Critical Habitat. Schedule 17 (page 213 of Plan Change 7) listing salmon spawning sites, and referenced in Condition 9 of Rule 5.148 (page 43 of Plan Change 7), has been updated to include new rivers and streams.
- You must provide evidence of public liability insurance to the value of at least $500,000.
- You must provide site specific health and safety plans for each site. Use our template or one of your own. Contact us if you need assistance completing the plan.
- What volume of gravel is required?
- Is it for on-going works over a period of several months or years?
- Is it a one-off take for a particular job?
- How soon do you need the gravel? Depending on the number of applications in process, there could be a delay.
- Is the cost involved in obtaining a gravel authorisation or resource consent justified and have you considered any ongoing costs like compliance monitoring? It may be cheaper to source gravel from a local supplier.
- Please note if your application is to ‘disturb the bed’ primarily for river control purposes it receives a different classification and may not be subject to gravel charges. Contact us with any questions.
Gravel Extraction Industry Representatives
Northern Management Area
Richard Edgen (North Canterbury Quarries Ltd)
Waimakariri/Ashley Management Area
Brett Swain (Southern Screenworks Ltd)
027 435 3979
Central Management Area
David Rowlands (Ashburton Contracting Ltd)
03 308 4039
027 484 1114
Southern Management Area
George Kelcher (Road Metals Ltd)
03 437 0458
021 350 880
Download the latest Gravel Liaison Committee meeting minutes (PDF File, 866KB)