Auckland Council stormwater consent application


Stormwater Network Diversion and Discharge Consent for the existing and future Auckland stormwater network

Stormwater Network Diversion and Discharge Consent for the existing and future Auckland stormwater network


Auckland Council has applied for discharge consent for an Auckland-wide stormwater network, for the ‘Healthy Waters Department’ (responsible for managing the public stormwater network across Auckland).

This application includes both existing serviced urban and rural/coastal townships, and future urban areas and townships that are serviced by the public stormwater network.

Public notification of resource consent application by Auckland Council under the Resource Management Act 1991. This application applies to existing and future urban areas of the Auckland region served by Council’s stormwater network. Application number: DIS60069613

Details of proposed activity and type of consent

The Auckland Council has applied for an Auckland wide stormwater network discharge consent. The application is for both the diversion of stormwater through the public stormwater network and overland flow, and the discharge of stormwater to the environment. The application covers both existing services urban and rural/coastal townships, and future urban areas and townships that are serviced by the public stormwater network. The application does not incorporate stormwater discharges from impervious areas/sites that do not enter the public stormwater network.

The Auckland Council, through its Healthy Waters Department, manages the public stormwater network across the Auckland region. This network is extensive, comprising more than 6,000 kilometers of pipelines, several thousand outfalls and more than 900 stormwater treatment facilities. The network discharges to streams; coastal environments, including harbours, estuaries and open coastal water; and shallow groundwater systems in some parts of the region.

This application seeks a consent duration of 35 years for existing and future stormwater diversions and discharges associated with the public network, reflecting the extent, value and essential function of the public stormwater network. This includes all existing diversion/discharges; new or modified diversion/discharges as a result of upgrading the stormwater network, future diversion/discharges resulting from the extension of the public network to service intensification and green field growth. The latter includes privately developed stormwater networks which meet the conditions of the network discharge consent and Auckland Council standards, and are subsequently vested in the Council.

Resource consent is required under the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) as a discretionary activity.

The application includes a description of the network and an assessment of environmental effects. Auckland’s public stormwater network is extensive and complex and the nature, performance and adverse effects of the network vary across Auckland. In particular, the application addresses:

  1. The management of assets and the ability for the Council to develop, operate and maintain the stormwater infrastructure
  2. The effects of growth and the ability of the stormwater network to be upgraded and expanded to cater for Auckland’s growth while managing the adverse effects on the environment from increased stormwater
  3. Existing and potential future adverse effects including: a. Flooding effects, including impacts on property and how stormwater is directed through overland flow paths b. The effects on stream health from stormwater flow including stream erosion and water and sediment quality c. Effects on the coast primarily rated to the accumulation of contaminants carried in the stormwater system, and the impact on the marine ecosystems d. Effects on groundwater from stormwater entering and recharging the aquifer e. Effects on the wastewater network recognising that some areas, particularly Auckland’s combined stormwater/wastewater network, receive stormwater flows.

The application seeks approval for a process for managing the diversion and discharge of stormwater, based on a proposed best practicable option for identifying, prioritising and managing stormwater effects from existing and new stormwater networks. The best practicable option comprises identified key stormwater management issues, strategic objectives, outcomes and six-yearly targets that include specific performance measures and other actions. Importantly, the best practicable option does not only relate to the stormwater network itself, but also provisions in the Auckland Unitary Plan and connection/vesting requirements to assist in managing stormwater from its generation through to its discharge.

The application also includes an assessment and approval proves by which changes to existing and future new diversions and discharges, which are necessary to improve the performance of the stormwater system and provide for growth, can be allowed without future resource consents. This process requires adverse effects to be managed within an identified range and for new development areas to meet current best practice stormwater management.

The application recognises the Council’s commitment to progressively upgrade the stormwater network and reduce existing adverse effects over time. However, it also recognises that this needs to occur alongside the provision of stormwater infrastructure to support urban growth and the manage increasing stormwater volumes, and the funding prioritisation that the Council must undertake in its financial planning processes.

The application acknowledges that change is inevitable over the term of a 35-year consent. This includes changing growth patterns; community expectations and priorities; the implementation of statutory requirements such as the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014; together with advances in the technology and processes for managing stormwater. The application therefore includes a monitoring programme and a six-yearly review cycle of the outcomes, targets and stormwater management methods. The application seeks to establish the process by which this regular review will occur to outcomes and priorities to be refined and ensure that the resource consent remains current and in line with best practice.

This consent application does not seek approval for physical works or structures. Rather, this application deals with the diversion and discharge of stormwater only and the management of the effects of that discharge on communities and the environment.

The application includes an assessment on effects on the environment.

Viewing the full application:

The application, including full scale copies of the plans, may be viewed at:

  • Orewa, Takapuna, Henderson, Manukau, and 35 Graham St service centres, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm; and
  • An online survey can be viewed on the Auckland Council website.

Making a submission:


Any person can make a submission on this application. You can make a submission in support, neutral or opposition to any part of the application.

Written or electronic submissions are acceptable, and must be received at Council by no later than 5pm, Tuesday 20 March 2018. The submission must be dated, signed by you (unless sent by electronic means), and include the following information:

  1. Your name, contact address, telephone number and email address (if applicable)
  2. Details of the application in respect of which you are making th submission, including location and consent reference numbers
  3. Your reasons for your submission
  4. The decision you with the consent authority to make
  5. And whether you wish to be heard in support of your submission.

You can make a submission in one of the following ways: Online: An online submission form is available on the Auckland Council website here. Email: Your submission form can be emailed to Post: A submission form can be posted to: Auckland Council, Attn: Premium Service Resource Consents Private Bag 92 300 Auckland 1142

You must also serve a copy of your submission to the applicant: Healthy Waters Unit, Infrastructure & Environmental Services Auckland Council Attn: Katja Huls, Resource Management Team Manager Private Bag 92 300 Auckland 1142 Or email: katja.huls@aucklandcouncil.govtnz

If you have any queries about the application, please contact John Duthie at or phone 027 492 4387

NZ Underwater would appreciate it if you mentioned in your feedback that you were made aware of the application/feedback process via our website or social media.

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