Planting adjacent to water races can be attractive, help to increase biodiversity, reduce weed growth and stabilise race banks.
Council generally supports land owners undertaking native plantings provided the plantings do not affect the operation of the water races. Some plants can get too large, spread and block the flow of water. It is best to plant tussocks and sedges immediately adjoining the water race, diggers can reach over them and the roots will not impede the flow of water in the race. Larger plants such as shrubs can be planted further away from the race.
Council and land owners need to maintain digger access alongside all water races so that they can be cleaned. A six metre strip should be left unplanted on one side or one bank planted with low plantings such as Carex Secta to allow a digger to reach over them.
When selecting plant species you will need to consider frost hardiness, soil moisture levels and sun position.
Under Council's bylaw, property owners are responsible for maintaining plantings and vegetation on the banks of the water race if they cause obstruction to the water race, regardless of whether they are existing or new.
Refer to the Selwyn District Council Water Race Bylaw 2008 [PDF, 105 KB] for further information.
Plants may be available from:
Freephone 0800 800 352
Motukarara Conservation Nursery
Phone (03) 329 7846