Lowland Drainage Operations and Riparian Management - Field Trip


This programme has been designed to identify a framework to raise awareness, learning and development pathways and ultimately drive recruitment and attraction strategies to assure river management expertise for the future.

Date & Time

Monday 3 April 2023

8.00am – 5.30pm




Council Staff – $200.00 discount

Rivers Group Members - 10% discount

Please mention discount when making the booking.

Where to register

Email Rachael Armstrong - Rachael.Armstrong@hbrc.govt.nz


Key Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Develop an understanding of lowland drainage and pumping systems operations and management, with a selection of drainage riparian best practice and water quality enhancement works. The field trip will incorporate a range of common drainage maintenance methods with discussion around water quality issues, environmental guidelines, best practice riparian management, habitat restoration and water quality treatment via constructed wetlands.

The field trip will be most beneficial to practitioners involved with drainage system maintenance and operations and there will be good opportunities to share experiences and lessons learned from other areas.

The field trip will take place around the Te Puke – Maketū area (Bay of Plenty) and comprise a range of operational, land management, cultural and science presenters to explore contemporary drain waterway management that is sympathetic to indigenous fish species (mainly inanga and tuna), terrestrial birdlife and cultural values.

Bay of Plenty (like many other regions in NZ) has had many thousands of hectares of wetland/saltmarsh areas historically drained to create valuable farmland. This field trip/seminar will look at how stakeholders are working together to enhance the waterways (including artificial and modified watercourses) to maximise their potential for restoring water quality and habitat for indigenous species.

Key themes

Drainage maintenance methods: A wide range of drainage maintenance options will be demonstrated including weed cutting options, herbicide spraying, saltwater flushing, biological controls (grass carp), and mechanical clearing using hydraulic excavators.

Drain riparian practice: Various styles of drain and waterway riparian management will be demonstrated including examples of DairyNZ best practice guidelines.

Native fish passage & habitat: Examples of inanga ponds, inanga spawning preferences and spawning area enhancement works. The field trip will also include various examples of fish passage through floodgated structures.

Environmental guidelines: Discussions around the new National Works in Waterways Guideline produced by MfE and how drainage works will recognize the guidelines.

Cultural perspectives: The seminar will include a presentation from local Iwi/Hapū to explain cultural values and the importance the mauri of the waterways and taonga species.

Constructed wetlands: The tour will include a site visit to a recently constructed treatment wetland installed to intercept nutrient-rich runoff from an agricultural catchment before it enters the drainage network. Presenters will discuss design and costs for the project and lessons learned.

Wildfowl habitat: [optionally possible to invite F&G to present on wildfowl preferences]

Itinerary TBC

  • Pick up 8.00am Trinity Wharf
  • Pick up 8.30am Airport Tauranga
  • SH2 south (via TEL motorway) to Wilson Road – North, to near Maketu township [stop for site visit]
  • Maketū township to Maketū Road, to Kaituna Road, to Ford Road [site visit to Maketū estuary control structure & walk to nearby sites of interest]
  • Ford Road, Kaituna Road (heading west) to Pah Road [stop for site visit]
  • Pah Road, Kaituna Road (heading east) to Te Tumu Road, Maketū Road (under TEL), Te Puke Highway (through Te Puke township), back onto SH2
  • Return to airport 5pm
  • Return to hotel 5.30-6pm

Participants will need to be able to walk over rough terrain and have sturdy footwear (& waterproof clothing if wet).

To register Email Rachael Armstrong - Rachael.Armstrong@hbrc.govt.nz