Purpose of land drainage
The primary purpose of land drainage is to allow landowners to manage groundwater levels to support pastoral farming. It clears ponded water from a 10-year rainfall event within three days to minimise pasture damage. Within these parameters it is intended that a balanced level of drainage is delivered, while trying to ensure 'over drainage' doesn’t become a major issue.
Not all drains are managed by our council, but we do maintain the main established network to provide a drainage outlet to each property, we also regularly review the effectiveness of the drainage networks and, as a result of this process, existing private drains or new drains may be added to the council maintained network.
To view Council land drainage, click on the Utilities Map, and select 'land drainage' on Maps Online.
We have four Land Drainage Committee's in our District:
- Western Plains Drainage District
- Eastern Plains Drainage District
- Paeroa Rural Drainage District
- Taramaire Drainage District
Meeting dates, agendas and minutes can be found on the Meetings Page
Our drainage bylaw puts controls in place to assist with our drainage activities in rural and urban areas. It does not apply to any Waikato Regional Council drains or assets. Our bylaw includes rules around:
- Protecting our stopbanks, floodgates and pumps
- Privately owned drains
- Building, planting and grazing near our drains
- Construction of crossings
- Keeping our drains clear from debris
- Fencing of drains
- Taking or adding water to our drains
- Inspection and maintenance we might need to do
- Requests to maintain drains without the use of herbicide
- Consents and fees
View the Drainage Bylaw
Waikato Regional Council Land Drainage
Waikato Regional Council provides a drainage service for flat rural land in the Lower Waikato, Waipa, Central Waikato, West Coast and Waihou-Piako zones. There are about 1493 individual drains totalling 2063 kilometres in length within 84 separate drainage areas.
The drainage networks are essential to allow landowners to sustain pastoral farming and benefit some 172,000 hectares of land (about 7 per cent of the region’s area) by taking water off the land to river channels.
The council maintains the drains on behalf of the landowners, and this service is funded for by targeted land drainage rates. Other zone specific targeted rates are for catchment, flood protection, biosecurity and natural heritage works.
Find out more about Waikato Regional Council land drainage