Dams - Building Consents and Safety Requirements
The Building Act 2004 has made Regional Councils responsible for all activities in regards to dams. These requirements are additional to any requirements for dams under the Resource Management Act 1991 which are also administered by Regional Councils.
If you own a dam or canal or are planning to construct, modify or remove a dam, canal or structure associated with a dam then you will be affected by at least one, if not both of the above Acts.
If your dam does not fit within the definition of a Large Dam it still must be constructed in accordance with the Building Code however it does not have to meet the on-going requirements of the Dam Safety Scheme.
To improve efficiency Horizons Regional Council (Horizons) along with all other North Island Regional Councils has transferred its powers to process all Dam Building Consent applications to Waikato Regional Council.
Section 7 of the Building Act defines a dam as:
(a) an artificial barrier, and its appurtenant structures, that -
(i) is constructed to hold back water or other fluid under constant pressure so as to form a reservoir; and
(ii) is used for the storage, control, or diversion of water or other fluid; and
(b) includes -
(i) a flood control dam; and
(ii) a natural feature that has been significantly modified to function as a dam; and
(iii) a canal; but
(c) does not include a stopbank designed to control flood waters
Appurtenant Structure means a structure that is integral to the proper functioning of a dam
Section 7 of the Building Act further defines a Large Dam as a dam that retains 3 or more metres depth and hold 20,000 or more cubic metres volume, of water or other fluid.
A series of brochures about the requirements for building and maintaining dams and the relevant application forms are available to download directly from Waikato Regional Council.
The register enables Councils to record the classification of Large Dams as required under the Dam Safety Scheme and enables Councils to maintain contact with dam owners to provide them with information on matters of importance, such as new regulations and guidance material on dam safety.
Please contact freephone 0508 800 800 or email for further information.