Bay of Plenty Regional Council has lodged an application for resource consent to carry out erosion repair and flooding prevention works in rivers and streams around the region.
Public submissions are sought as part of the process and close on February 1 next year.
The sort of works covered by the consent includes repairing bank erosion, removing built-up of sediment and debris, maintaining and realigning waterways and clearing stream mouths.
Council's application will enable ongoing delivery of statutory functions relating to water quality management, soil conservation and flooding prevention under various legislation.
Kirsty Brown, the council's Rivers and Drainage Assets Manager, said there had been a resource consent of this type in place for more than 20 years which had a number of benefits, particularly when repairs needed to be carried out with some urgency.
"The consent is used in situations when, for example, a landowner lets us know that their property is being threatened, or has been damaged, by a waterway.
"This consent means we are able to work with landowners, tangata whenua, and other interested parties in a timely way to manage that risk or take remedial action where appropriate.
"The quicker we can get to these works, the more we can reduce erosion, with less ongoing sedimentation and reduced risk of damage."
Brown said the works also improved water quality and habitats for native fauna and flora with the provision of plantings, fencing waterways and provision for fish passage all common outcomes.
"Over the past year or so, our team has been in touch with a wide range of stakeholders, including many hapū and iwi groups, landowners and territorial authorities.
"I really appreciate the time that so many individuals and groups spent with us talking through any concerns or questions they had."
She said it was a less formal way and meant the council could make changes to the consent application to address some of the concerns and suggestions raised.
"This is now the formal part of the process – which is a publically notified consent and I encourage people to read more about it and write a formal submission."
Council's Integrated Catchments Group is seeking to replace existing consent 64684 which covers all works on waterways outside the Bay of Plenty's major rivers and drainage schemes but excludes waterways within Te Urewera, Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne, Raukūmara, Kaimai-Mamaku, and all lakes within the Rotorua Lakes District.
Works on 'Rivers and Drainage' schemes are generally a permitted activity under the Regional Natural Resources Plan but works in waterways outside scheme maintenance areas generally need a resource consent.
More information about the consent and how to make a submission can be found on the regional council website.