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Gisborne region

Surface Water Zone: Greater Waipaoa Surface Water

The Waipaoa catchment incorporates 12 major sub-catchment areas, with a combined land area of 2,205km2. The Waipaoa River, the largest river in the Gisborne Region has mean annual flows of between 19,000 and 70,000m3 with flow monitoring occurring at the Kanakanaia Bridge. The catchment is extensively farmed and is representative of the most productive and fertile soils in the region, with surface water use essential to the regions economy.

The Waipaoa Catchment Plan forms part of the Gisborne Regional Freshwater Plan that was notified in October 2015.

The Waipaoa Catchment Plan includes:

  • A Block Allocation Cap of 2000 l/s (instantaneous take) starting at 1,300 l/s.
  • B Block Allocation Cap of 2000 l/s (instantaneous take) starting at 4000 l/s.
  • Reduce total annual allocation to 6,267,500m³ by 2020.
  • Review minimum flows, allocation caps and total allocation in 2025.

A Block takes are for activities that require a reliable source of water, such as irrigation, where crop production is dependent on the availability of water. The minimum flow set for A Block allocations is 1300l/s ensuring that water is available for high priority activities yet still ensuring the environmental values of the Waipaoa River are maintained.

B Blocks are generally less reliable and used for water storage and activities outside of the peak use period such as frost protection. B Block allocations allow the flow to remain in the range most useful to the key environmental values of the Waipaoa River for the longest time. The minimum flow set for B Block allocation is 4000 litres per second.

Water Use
Surface Water in this Zone

Regional councils collect information about how much water is available and manage resource consents for those wishing to take water from rivers and streams. Use the buttons below to view information on: how much water is available, where it comes from and how its used.


Rainfall {{waterAvailable.rainfall}} Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}} Surface Water available: {{waterSource.availableToAllocate}} Irrigation
Town supply
  • How much surface water is there in this zone?

    Rainfall and flow in this surface water zone

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    Rainfall and runoff

    Relative breakdown Source Volume
    Rainfall total:
    {{waterAvailable.rainfall }}
    rainfall Rainfall Total {{waterAvailable.rainfall}}
    Runoff total:
    {{waterAvailable.runoff }}
    runoff Runoff to sea {{waterAvailable.runoff}}

    The table above shows the average amount of rainfall the water management zone receives each year and how much of that flows out to sea. These are approximate figures only.

    Rainfall and run-off to sea figures for Gisborne are currently unavailable. 

  • Water consents: How much water is consented and used?

    Surface water available to consent

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    Consented water in this surface water zone

    Use the tables below to look at how much water is available compared with how much is actually consented within this water management zone. Click the plus to expand subzones where available

    Comparing consents and use
    Amount available to consent In this surface water management zone:
    {{}} {{}}
    available to consent
    Amount consented
    measured and non measured
    Amount used (measured)
    Amount Units Consented or used as a percentage of available
    Total available to consent {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total consented {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total consented and measured {{}} {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total measured amount used {{}} {{}} {{}}
    Total measured volume used {{}} {{}}

    The table above shows the amount of water that is available for use compared to the amount that has been consented. The ‘Total Consented’ and ‘Total Consented and Measured’ fields are based on percentages of the ‘Total available to Consent’ field. If this field is not populated no data will be displayed. Some consents require actual use to be monitored and this is presented as 'Total measured volume Used' where available.

    The Waipaoa River allocation limit under the Waipaoa Catchment Plan for Block A  is 2000 litres per second. This total allocation limits takes into account factors such as minimum flows, flow variability and in-stream values to balance the reliability of supply. This allocation limit is about to be reached taking into account new consents received by Council in the Waipaoa Catchment.

  • Water consents: How is consented water used?

    Consents by use in this surface water zone

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    Consented water

    Overall annual volume for {{waterAvailable.year}}
    Relative breakdown
    Activity Percentage of total consented Total volume Number of consents
    {{item.displayText}} {{item.displayText}} - - No data available {{item.breakdownPercentage}}% {{item.totalVolume}} m3 {{item.numberOfConsents}}
    Total {{}}% {{}} m3 {{}}

    The above table shows the proportion of water consented for irrigation, industrial, stock, town supply and other. It excludes hydro electricity. In this region/management zone {{hydroUsage.totalVolume}} m3/year is consented for hydro-electricity and makes up {{hydroUsage.percentageConsented}}% of the total water volume consented for this region/management zone


Monitored sites in this Zone

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