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Stock weaken stopbanks in Bay of Plenty

Stock weaken stopbanks in Bay of Plenty

Tuesday 27 June 2006

When cows trample stopbanks in winter, they get soggy and it can weaken them.

That’s why Environment Bay of Plenty is warning farmers to keep stock off stopbanks over the wetter months.

Works engineer Tony Dunlop has already followed up several reports of stock over-grazing stopbank areas.

“It’s a real concern because, when stock trample stopbanks at this time of year, they can turn the damp soil into a muddy bog. This makes them more susceptible to erosion during floods - they can’t do their job properly. It is critical that they have a good cover of grass during flood emergencies.”

The Bay of Plenty has several hundred kilometres of stopbanks in four major river schemes. The Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme extends from Rotorua down to the coast. The Rangitaiki-Tarawera River Scheme and the Whakatane-Waimana Scheme help protect the Rangitaiki Plains area, including Whakatane township. The Waioeka-Otara Scheme is in the Opotiki district.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s Floodway and Drainage Bylaw is designed to protect stopbanks. It states that, without written authority, a person cannot allow stock to damage or overgraze any stopbank or protection planting.

It also prohibits anyone to:

- Damage or interfere with any stopbank or associated equipment.
- Plant hedges, trees or shrubs within 12 metres either side of a stopbank.
- Construct any structure within 12 metres either side of a stopbank.
- Excavate on or within 20 metres of a stopbank.
- Dig a drain or carry out earthworks within 20 metres of the landward toe of a stopbank.
- Construct a crossing over, through, along or under any defence against water.


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