Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is looking at new ways to manage gravel taken from the region’s rivers and wants to hear what the community thinks about the proposal.
It has undertaken a review of its gravel management plan over the past six years, and is proposing to seek a global consent for the management of gravel.
The proposal differs from the current requirement, where all individual extractors have to apply for a resource consent.
Gravel is taken mostly from riverbeds for roads and construction. Removing gravel also helps river channels maintain their capacity to carry floodwater.
On average, 550-600,000 cubic metres of gravel is taken from Hawke’s Bay rivers each year. This has reduced substantially in recent years due to the downturn in economic activity in the region. Most gravel is taken from the Ngaruroro riverbed.
The consequence of less extraction means that more gravel builds up in the river system, reducing the flood capacity of rivers over time, as is currently being experienced in the Upper Tukituki Rivers.
This new approach will help the Council to influence where gravel is removed from, to maximise flood control benefits. It will also help staff to implement the environmental management plan for the health of river ecosystems.
HBRC asset management staff will soon hold a special consultative process, including direct contact with all environmental groups concerned about river health, as well as gravel extractors.
Community consultation will be open from Saturday 1 April to Friday 5 May. A Hearings Panel will consider submissions in June at a date to be confirmed.
31 March 2017
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