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Silt FAQs

Find our authorised contractor information and list here.

We are working hard to reduce double handling as we clear silt around Hawke’s Bay.

If you or contractors working for you have a large amount of silt and are able to move it directly to one of our disposal sites using dump trucks, please get in touch with us on 0800 108 838 and we will work with you.

The Taskforce has now partnered with to repurpose damaged tanalised or treated timber posts and wire from horticultural and viticultural properties into sustainable fencing to be reused. Repost repurpose broken posts by grading them, removing nails, clips and plastic, cutting them to size and then bundling them up ready for farmers' fence lines.

Where a landowner wants their posts to be reused on their property, they will need to cover the cost of repurposing. Typically, it costs $4.50 per post to repurpose based on 1000 posts per day, significantly cheaper than the estimated $19 to dispose one post at landfill.

To register your interest for your posts and wires to be collected and have Repost provide you with a quote please contact Repost at

There are four types of silt:

  • Clean silt – Silt from places like roads and streets, gardens that do not have a septic tank, and does not contain solid items like flood-damaged household furniture.
  • Mixed silt – Silt mixed with small amounts of litter such as waste from flood-damaged household goods (e.g. plastic, small toys and food waste), and food affected by the flood, e.g. apples and onions.
  • Contaminated silt – Silt that may have had septic tank, spilt paint, diesel, chemicals etc, mixed through.
  • Woody silt – Silt mixed with quantities of timber and other storm-related debris like fence posts, trees etc.

After the cyclone, the Regional Council initially took random samples across the region to test the silt and found that outside of Awatoto, there no significantly contaminated silt. Ongoing testing since silt collection began has shown very little in the way of chemical contamination, with heavy metals generally present at the natural ‘background’ concentrations for our region, and other contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides and hydrocarbons typically not being detected.

If you’re dealing with silt, it’s important to work safely due to the risk of pathogens, such as bacteria or viruses, which are typical following a flood and will decrease over time as they are exposed to air and sunshine. Ensure you’re limiting the risk of infection by:

  • using good hygiene, such as wearing gloves, avoiding breathing in dust, and washing hands and exposed skin frequently
  • washing freshly soiled clothes regularly

Out of precaution we wouldn’t recommend adding fresh silt into vegetable gardens until spring to allow pathogen levels to decrease.

Read our dust infosheet for more guidance.

The Council recommends that you discuss this option with your farm advisor or agronomist.  Click here to find a list of New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management approved consultants.

The Silt Recovery Taskforce assessment officer can help you work through what silt should be removed, or if it stays how this could be integrated. For  specialist advice please speak to a specialist advisor. Contact 0800 108 838 or email to get in touch with an assessment officer.

Some useful resources to help you with any discussions are linked below:


Revegetating Cropping Soils after a Flood

Beef + Lamb NZ

Recovering from a Flood

Dairy NZ

Flood damage response

Sustainable Faming Fund

Silt Recovery Lower North Island Storm Event 2004

A number of silt collection sites were established to store silt around Hawke’s Bay. Before any new site is opened it is assessed looking at whether there any special features or characteristics such as: archaeological sites, wahi tapu areas, significant flora and fauna, waterbodies and wetlands, alongside proximity to neighbouring sites and community uses.

HDC and HBRC have been working under the emergency works provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991 to enable the clean up to occur as quickly as possible to support the region's recovery. There are four silt deposit sites currently open as at July 2024 in Esk, Pākōwhai, Omarunui, and Dartmoor.


The taskforce is looking at a range of options for storing and using silt in the future, and working closely with other councils, industry, and landowners to develop solutions for the region.


We know lots of people in the community are interested and also concerned about what happens with this large volume of silt and how long it will take. Our team is committed to finding the best solutions we can for our rohe and will keep the community updated.



The jobs list we have at the moment in July 2024 is for just over 850,000m3 of silt. We have collected nearly 2,000,000m3 of silt since our mahi began.

We're working to complete as many jobs as we can with the additional funding by the end of winter 2024 to get ahead of wet weather as much as possible, and reduce dust issues next summer. We'll then be working on remediating the deposit sites, with an aim to have all work completed by the end of the year.


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