Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Development of a Dangerous Dams Policy

July 27, 2006


Development of a Dangerous Dams Policy for Canterbury

Environment Canterbury is proposing a “Dangerous Dams Policy” for the Canterbury region, as required under Section 161 of the Building Act 2004. The Act requires regional councils to develop a policy to address issues associated with dangerous dams.

Environment Canterbury’s draft policy, approved by Council today, provides background information that explains why the policy is being developed and defines “dams” and “dangerous dams”. It also outlines the actions Environment Canterbury can take to ensure the safety of a dam.

Environment Canterbury proposes a consultative approach with the owners of any dam that is considered to be dangerous. However the legislation, and in turn the policy, do provide a number of tools that ECan may use if the necessary action does not occur. "Like serving the owners or relevant parties with work orders, or if necessary even carrying out the work ourselves, in order to ensure a dam does not pose a danger to lives and properties,” says Andrew Willis, senior policy analyst at Environment Canterbury.

He points out that Canterbury is home to a number of New Zealand’s most significant hydraulic structures. In particular, the Waitaki catchment is home to several large dams, including the largest earth-filled embankment dam in the country - Lake Benmore.

“Many of the region’s dams are constructed on watercourses and are therefore subject to flooding. It’s also clear from historical records and regional geological studies that Canterbury lies within a zone capable of generating large and relatively frequent earthquakes. Dams must therefore be constructed and maintained to take account of a potentially significant earthquake,” he says.

The draft policy identifies three priorities for dangerous dams. These are:

- ensure public safety at all times

- have regard to economic welfare

- have regard to heritage values.

The chairman of Environment Canterbury’s hazards and emergency management committee, Cr Angus McKay, has welcomed the development of a policy. “Hopefully that will prevent a situation like the Opuha Dam failure in 1997 from happening again,” he says.

The draft Dangerous Dams Policy will be advertised for public submissions this weekend and the consultation period will close at the end of August.

Copies of the draft policy and summary document may be inspected at ECan’s customer service centres or requested free of charge over the phone 03 353 9007 or toll free on 0800 EC INFO (0800 324 636), or downloaded from http://www.ecan.govt.nz/dangerousdams/


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news