Guidelines for the Removal of Silt From Cyclone Gabrielle Affected Properties

Posted By HBFA | November 10, 2023


These guidelines have been prepared to assist Hawke’s Bay horticultural growers with silt deposits on their properties, as a result of recent Cyclone Gabrielle flooding.

They have been put together as a guide to help property owners safely remove silt from their land.

These guidelines have been prepared in accordance with the Ministry for Environment Contaminated Land Management Guidelines, No. 5 (CLMG No. 5), Site Investigation and Analysis of Soils (MfE, 2021) and the Resource Management (National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health) Regulations 2011 (NESCS).


Silt Removal

A few key considerations need to be followed when removing silt from market gardens, orchards and agricultural farmland.

Figure 1. Do not remove silt from areas surrounding chemical storage sheds and filling stations, or sheep yards, particularly those with known historic sheep dips. 


Health & Safety

Ensure that the following are followed during the removal of silt:


Unexpected Discovery of Contamination

Should unexpected contamination be encountered during removal, immediately stop, and assess the potential hazards. Contamination may present as: 

Should asbestos be observed or suspected during excavation, all work shall cease and Guidelines for the Management and Removal of Asbestos (revised 1999) for the Department of Labour, and the Health & Safety in Employment (Asbestos) Regulations (1998) will need to be followed. Any asbestos works (assessment, delineation, removal, and verification) would need to be undertaken by a specialist asbestos contractor and EAM, who are suitably qualified environmental practitioners, to assess asbestos contamination.

A first response protocol for unexpected contamination is as follows:

  1. Stop work immediately. Assess the potential immediate hazards. If the discovery is assessed as presenting an imminent hazard or danger, notify emergency services by dialling 111. If unsafe, move away, and secure the area.
  2. Contact EAM, Jason Strong 027 4405990.
  3. Work will not resume or commence until an environmental professional has provided clearance. 

EAM are suitably qualified environmental practitioners in the field of contaminated sites. Should you require assistance with sampling of your property, please contact us on 027 4735590, or email info@eam.co.nz. 


Reference Documentation

MfE 2012 Users’ Guide National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health. Ministry for the Environment. 

MfE 2021 Contaminated Land Management Guidelines No.5; Site Investigation and Analysis of Soil. Ministry for the Environment. 

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