The Otago Regional Council is to investigate erosion on the
Taieri River after concerns were raised by the Strath Taieri
Board chairman Barry Williams said the council had been ''far
from helpful'' about the matter, which involved the river
changing course and farmers losing land as a result.
He knew of three farms on either side of Taieri River bridge,
on the road to Macraes Flat, who had lost land when the river
had changed course.
One farmer had lost nearly 3ha of land, Mr Williams said.
Surface gravel had banked in the middle of the river and
deflected water towards the farmers' paddocks which ''scoured
out'' the banks.
If willows and gravel were removed from the middle of the
river, it would help curb the erosion.
A letter was sent to the council seeking assistance before
the next board meeting on January 30. Council chief executive
Peter Bodeker said no letter had been received and the
council's ''remit'' was not to adjust rivers to prevent bank
Erosion prevention was the responsibility of the landowner,
but the council would help with the consent process, he said.
The council had worked with riverside farmers in North Otago
on gaining consents and was willing to do the same with the
Strath Taieri Community Board, but he warned the cost of an
in-river consent was sometimes greater than the cost of the
He would happily meet the board and riverside farmers to
discuss who managed the river.
Council environmental engineering and natural hazards
director Dr Gavin Palmer said the council would contact the
board and arrange a site meeting before its next meeting to
''observe the erosion''.