Water  |  9 Jun 2022

Christchurch City Council has today approved two new water bylaws and the Ihutai-Estuary and Coastal Stormwater Management Plan.

The two new bylaws - Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw and Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw – will replace the current Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw 2014.

Changes introduced by the new bylaws broadly focus on reducing contaminants in stormwater and strengthening the security and efficiency of the water supply network.

The proposed changes are in response to regulatory changes the Council must comply with.

Hearings Panel Chair Councillor Phil Mauger says there was overall support for the bylaws but feedback from the community shaped some changes to the Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw.

“To give businesses more time to comply with the new measures the timeframe to apply for an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence has been extended.  

“The bylaw now also better balances the need to address unmanaged spring water, while respecting and maintaining the health of waterways and te mana o te wai – the vital importance of water,” Cr Mauger says.

Bylaw waterway setback requirements for stock fences in rural areas have also been removed from the Bylaw because this is regulated by the District Plan.

The Ihutai-Estuary and Coastal Stormwater Management Plan was also today approved by Council.  

The plan is the third of seven being prepared between 2020 and 2024 for the district’s different stormwater catchments.

The plans set out the ways the Council will meet the requirements of its 25-year Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent (CSNDC), which was granted by Environment Canterbury in 2019.

Public consultation on the plan ran from 28 February until 26 April 2022. The Council received 16 submissions – 4 from individuals and 12 from organisations.

Council Head of Three Waters Helen Beaumont says the plans play an important role in improving the city’s stormwater discharges and waterways.  

“Stormwater is all water that falls onto roads, paths and other hard surfaces. It picks up pollution from these surfaces and then flows via drains and channels into local waterways, which affects the water quality and health of local streams and rivers.”

“The Ihutai-Estuary and Coastal area is home to a variety of wildlife that benefits from healthy waterbodies. Improving the stormwater network will have a positive impact on this ecosystem over time.”

In approving the plan, the Council also requested the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Trust and Te Ihutai Atuwhenua Trust meet with the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor co-governance group with a view to developing a joined up approach to the management of the catchment as a whole.