Ko Te Anga Whakaora mō Ngā Arawai Rēpō

The Christchurch City Council waterways and wetlands philosophy

This guide introduces the Christchurch City Council philosophy – one that encourages people to work with natural features and processes in the landscape. Management of a waterway or wetland frequently includes its restoration and protection. Drainage is integrated with all other 'values' (ecology, landscape, recreation, heritage and culture) to form the foundation of a philosophy that is multi-disciplinary and sustainable.

The guide is currently out of print but can be viewed at the Christchurch City Libraries. We have provided a scanned copy below which may be downloaded.

It is made up of two parts and covers:

  • A multi-disciplinary approach to design and management
  • Advice on site assessment using a values-based approach
  • Procedure to follow when consulting with local communities and takata whenua
  • Advice on developing and implementing environmentally sensitive design
  • Specific engineering and ecological criteria for design of waterways, wetlands, stormwater pipes and other structures.

Waterways, Wetlands and Drainage Guide (WWDG) by sections

Part A

How to use the Guide [PDF, 1.4 MB] 

  1. Sustainable Management [PDF, 3.1 MB] 
  2. Water - An important natural resource [PDF, 12 MB] 
  3. Making visions real [PDF, 17 MB] 
  4. Involving the community [PDF, 5.4 MB] 

Part B

  1. Introduction [PDF, 832 KB] 
  2. Impacts of Development [PDF, 3 MB] 
  3. Fish, Invertebrates, Birds and their habitats [PDF, 4 MB] 
  4. Soils and Geomorphology of Christchurch [PDF, 1.9 MB] 
  5. Surface Water and Groundwater Interception [PDF, 1.6 MB] 
  6. Stormwater Treatment Systems [PDF, 8 MB] Revised 
  7. Hill waterways [PDF, 2.7 MB] 
  8. Lowland waterways [PDF, 1.8 MB] 
  9. Restoring Waterway Form [PDF, 3.5 MB] 
  10. Restoring wetlands [PDF, 1.9 MB] 
  11. Riparian Planting [PDF, 1.9 MB] 
  12. Waterway Erosion Protection [PDF, 1.5 MB] 
  13. Waterway Structures [PDF, 3.7 MB] 
  14. Pipeline Structures [PDF, 2.3 MB] 
  15. Safety [PDF, 920 KB] 
  16. Public Access [PDF, 944 KB] 
  17. The Consent Process [PDF, 1018 KB] 
  18. Mosquitoes and Other Insect Pests [PDF, 977 KB] 
  19. Operation and Maintenance [PDF, 586 KB] 
  20. Inundation Design Performance Standards [PDF, 970 KB] 
  21. Rainfall and Runoff [PDF, 3.4 MB] Revised 
  22. Hydraulics [PDF, 2.4 MB] 
  23. Appendices [PDF, 1 MB] Revised 
  24. Index [PDF, 265 KB] 

Enquiries to the Senior Surface Water Planner or Drainage Engineer by contacting us in the Assets and Network Planning Team - phone: (03) 9418999.

The following rainfall intensity data for Christchurch is to be included in the updated Waterways, Wetlands and Drainage Guide. An allowance of 16 percent should be made for climate change Review of the Frequency of High Rainfall in Christchurch [PDF, 1 MB] 

Natural Asset Management Strategy [PDF, 31 MB] 


Values and visions

The values-based approach is also underpinned by the Resource Management Act (RMA), which sets out the principles for sustainably managing waterways and wetlands. These principles are given effect by the policies and rules of the Christchurch City Plan.

The RMA and the City Plan require that a wide range of impacts, benefits and community interests be considered when contemplating a treatment option for a waterway or wetland. It is therefore essential to involve and gain the support of local communities and takata whenua. A values-based approach ensures that all parties involved have opportunities to participate.

When the different values have been explored and the appropriate parties consulted, a vision can be developed. A vision may be small or large in scale; simple or complex to implement. Every site offers ample scope for flair and imagination. Wherever you see a vision realised that is based on all the values, you see sustainable management at its most creative.