Maintaining our local streams

Last Updated : 04 Mar 2024
Matakana River

Auckland Council has a responsibility to maintain water flow to critical streams in the public network, such as parks. This does not mean full clearing, but ability for water to flow.

Homeowners also have the same responsibility for private streams, which are streams that run through or next to privately owned property.

During heavy rain, high water volumes can cause streams to overtop. To reduce potential damage to your home, streamside residents should:

  • keep the stream clear of debris the prevents water flowing freely, including fallen trees, rubbish and invasive pest plants (please note, does not mean full clearance).

  • plant stream banks with native plants with narrow trunks and leaves that will lie flat in a flood, to prevent stream bank erosion and create habitat for wildlife.

Streams often flow through multiple properties so it’s a great idea to work with your neighbours to maintain the stream, so everyone is better protected from flooding.

Talk to your neighbours or your local community/environmental group about working with other residents to make improvements to your stream.

The council supports established community organisations to work with their communities to encourage flood resilience. This is expected to expand once long-term funding is available. Currently, the following groups provide plants and advice for residents living next to streams in some suburbs:

The council does maintain some streams on private property because of the overflow from combined sewers. We have also carried out emergency work on private waterways if there is an immediate concern for public safety.

A recent example of this included approximately 1000m3 of debris being removed from a 6km stretch of the Waiwera Stream.

To find out more, please see the who maintains watercourses page on our website.

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