The ORC provides flood protection and land drainage across 43,000ha of rural and urban land in Otago. 

The Flood Protection Management Bylaw 2022 came into effect on 1 September 2022. It safeguards our flood protection and land drainage assets.

What is the Flood Protection Management Bylaw?

The Flood Protection Management Bylaw: 

  • identifies important assets owned and managed by ORC, including scheduled drains and overland flow paths, defences against water, floodways, groynes, crossbanks, a training line, and flood protection vegetation
  • protects them by outlining activities that people cannot carry out in, on, under, or near those assets without the authority of ORC
  • outlines the process for applying for Council approval under the Bylaw, essentially ‘written permission’ to do works near these regionally significant assets. 
  • identifies things landowners need to do, such as keeping structures in good repair, and fences and gates in floodways are kept free of debris
  • allows Council to require that drains are fenced to keep livestock out of waterways and access to and from assets is controlled if needed

Several activities are restricted. You may not alter the assets, carry out earthworks, plant or remove trees, shrubs or hedges, place structures where they may stop the asset from working well, or allow livestock to damage assets. If you own land near one of the assets included in the Bylaw, it may affect you.

The Bylaw applies to structures owned or managed by the ORC on public and private land, which are shown in the Schedules to the Bylaw.

These include but are not limited to: 

  • drains  
  • overland flow paths  
  • defences against water (e.g. rock buttresses and floodbanks)  
  • floodways  
  • groynes  
  • cross-banks  
  • training lines  
  • flood protection vegetation.

These structures protect people, property, and livelihoods during floods. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Areas covered by the Bylaw

The Bylaw applies to:

  • Lower Clutha
  • Tokomairiro
  • Lower, East and West Taieri
  • Leith Lindsay
  • Hilderthorpe
  • Waitaki
  • Alexandra
  • Albert Town
  • Hendersons and Waikoura Creeks
  • Lower Waitaki
  • Shotover River Delta

Flood Protection Bylaw maps

Search an address and see if it is affected by the bylaw. 

If you prefer to view the map in its own browser window/tab, you can do so on

Contact us

For further enquiries email or phone: 0800 474 082