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Keep cows off the stopbanks

Media Release
For immediate release: 21 August 2009

Keep cows off the stopbanks

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Farmers are urged to keep stock off the region’s stopbanks

Bay of Plenty farmers are being urged to keep their stock off the region’s stopbanks.

Environment Bay of Plenty Rivers and Drainage Group Manager Ken Tarboton said the regional council had recently investigated a few incidents of farmers using the stopbanks for grazing, which was putting the region’s flood protection at risk.

“When stock trample the stopbanks, especially during winter when they are already damp, they’re weakening our flood defence,” Mr Tarboton said. “Once they’ve turned the top of them into a muddy bog, all it takes is one decent downpour to wash the mud from the top and we’ve lost 10 centimetres off them.”

Mr Tarboton said it was critical the stopbanks had a good cover of grass on them to cope with any flood emergencies.

“Environment Bay of Plenty’s floodway and drainage bylaw is designed to protect stopbanks and states that, without written authority, a person cannot allow stock to damage or overgraze any stopbank or protection planting.”

He said the memories of what could happen if a stopbank failed were still too vivid in many Bay of Plenty residents mind’s and he did not want to see floods like those in 2004 occur again.


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