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Flood warning Kaikoura and North Canterbury Rivers - Landslide Dam Flood Warning More Info


  • Canterbury Hazardous Waste Subcommittee
    a subcommittee of the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee, that looks at and runs programmes or manages hazardous waste issues. More about Waste Working Groups & Committees.
  • Canterbury Mayoral Forum
    the forum comprises of the mayors of Canterbury’s territorial authorities (district and city councils) and the chair of Environment Canterbury.
  • Canterbury Regional Transport Committee
    a statutory committee convened by Environment Canterbury with representation from stakeholders throughout the region and responsible for making recommendations on the Regional Land Transport Strategy and to promote and monitor progress in implementing the strategy in the region. More on the Regional Transport Committee.
  • Canterbury Resource Management Awards
    the aim of the Canterbury Resource Management Awards - to promote sustainable management of natural and human-made (for example: roads, bridges and ports) resources in the Canterbury region by recognising and rewarding activities that maintain resources for future generations. These awards were held in even-numbered years. Read details of the 2008 Canterbury Resource Management Awards.
  • Canterbury Waste Joint Committee
    a committee with representatives from Environment Canterbury and all City and District Councils (except Waitaki District Council) in Canterbury who look at and run programmes to manage solid waste in Canterbury. More about Waste Working Groups & Committees.
  • Canterbury Water Management Strategy
    the strategy provides direction for the future management of Canterbury’s water resources. The Canterbury Mayoral Forum represents the Canterbury region as steward of the Strategy. More about the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.
  • Carcinogenic
    a substance that has the capability of causing cancer. Read more on hazardous substances.
  • Cation
    a positively charged ion, usually found dissolved in water, such as calcium (Ca++). Read more information about measuring water quality.
  • Certificate of Compliance
    confirmation that an activity is permitted by the council and therefore does not require a resource consent.
  • Channelling
    the diversion of flows within the bed of a river by the construction of an artificial channel
  • Chatterbox
    Newsletter of Enviroschools Canterbury. Download and read Chatterbox.
  • Clean Heat Project
    was an assistance project for clean heating and insulation. It was set up in 2002 in Christchurch and in 2008 in Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Ashburton and Timaru. The Project assisted over 19,000 homeowners to insulate their homes and convert to cleaner forms of heating. The project finished in 2011. Find out about Clean Heat Incentives.
  • Cleanfill
    inert, non-toxic material which poses no or minimal risk to the environment when buried (in a cleanfill). Material is typically from the construction and demolition industry and includes concrete, rubble, uncontaminated soil and bricks.
  • Climate Change
    alterations to fundamental climatic factors such as average temperatures and the frequency of extreme events. Read more about climate change.
  • Cluster Groups
    as part of the Restorative Programme for Lowland Streams, the groundwater consents in the Rakaia Selwyn Groundwater Zone are being reviewed. For these Rakaia-Selwyn reviews, Cluster Groups are 5 geographic areas, based on hydrological factors and similarities in water use issues. Read more information on cluster groups.
  • Coastal environment
    an environment in which the coast usually is a significant part or element. The coastal environment will vary from place to place depending upon the extent to which it affects or is (directly) affected by coastal processes and the management issue concerned. It includes 3 distinct but interrelated parts: the coastal marine area; the active coastal zone; and the land backdrop. The coastal environment includes at least the coastal marine area, the water, plants, animals, and the atmosphere above it; and all tidal waters and foreshore whether above or below mean high water springs, dunes, beaches, areas of coastal vegetation and coastal associated fauna, areas subject to coastal erosion or flooding, salt marshes, sea cliffs and coastal wetlands, including estuaries. Read more about the coast.
  • Coastal Marine Area
    Environment Canterbury, on behalf of the people of the Canterbury region, manages 800 kilometeres of coastline and neighbouring marine area from the Waitaki River mouth in the south to Kekerengu in the north. Our responsibility extends out to the 12 nautical mile limit and covers 11,620 square kilometres of open waters. This seaspace is referred to as the coastal marine area (CMA).
  • Coastal profiles
    coastal profiles measure the cross-sectional geometry of the beach surface. Comparison of consecutive surveys provides information on changes in the position and volume of a beach over time.
  • Commissioner
    an external expert appointed by Environment Canterbury to hear an application proposal and make a decision.
  • Community outcomes
    the outcomes that the Canterbury community has decided are a priority in terms of the present and future social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of the community.
  • Compliance Monitoring Officers
    ensure the conditions of resource consents are being complied with, ensure permitted activities are conducted in accordance with regional plans and respond to any activities that may be having an adverse environmental effect. Compliance Monitoring Officers work with Enforcement Officers to deal with activities that are not authorised by the Resource Management Act, regional plans or resource consents.
  • Conditions
    entered on a resource consent explaining how an activity can be carried out.
  • Contaminant pathway
    a route that a chemical follows to move from the contaminant source to receptors.
  • Contaminated land
    land of one of the following kinds: a. where, if there is an applicable national environmental standard for contaminants in soil, the land is more contaminated than the standard allows; or b. where, if there is no applicable national environmental standard for contaminants in soil, the land has a hazardous substance in or on it that- has significant adverse effects on the environment; or is reasonably likely to have significant adverse effects on the environment. Read more about contaminated land.
  • Contaminated site
    land is considered to be contaminated when hazardous substances are present at levels above background levels and they are likely to pose an immediate or long-term risk to human health or the environment. Read more about contaminated land.
  • Councillor Committee
    a small committee made up of councillors with the delegated power to decide on a notified consent application. Known as a Regulation Hearing Committee (RHC).
  • Cumec
    a cumec describes the rate at which water flows. It represents one cubic metre (1000 litres) per second.
  • Cyanobacteria
    (blue-green algae) are an ancient group of organisms with characteristics in common with both bacteria and algae. Cyanobacteria are widespread in many lakes and rivers in New Zealand, and are found in a wide range of water quality conditions, including relatively 'clean' waters. Read more about toxic algae.
  • Contaminated (for land use)
    The site has been investigated. Results demonstrated it is land of one of the following kinds:
    1. if there is an applicable national environmental standard on contaminants in soil, the land is more contaminated than the standard allows; or
    2. if there is no applicable national environmental standard on contaminants in soil, the land has a hazardous substance in or on it that –
      1. has significant adverse effects on the environment; or
      2. is reasonably likely to have significant adverse effects on the environment
    (s2 RMA 1991)
    Read more about contaminated site categories.
  • Conductivity
    the amount of dissolved solids in the water. It is used to give an indication of the amount of inorganic materials in the water, including calcium, bicarbonate, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, sulphur and others.
  • Confined aquifer
    an aquifer under pressure because a confining layer of impermeable clay and silt acts as a 'lid'. Because the water is under pressure, the water in a well drilled into a confined aquifer will rise up the well, and may even flow at the ground surface. The levels also fluctuate seasonally.
    Read more about Canterbury groundwater.
  • Canopy species
    Intermediate-sized trees and shrubs. For example,  Matipo, Kanuka which form a dense overhead cover. Read more about planting exposed areas.
  • Colonising species
    Hardy shrubby species. For example,  Flax, Cabbage tree, established in the project's first year, to nurse subsequent plantings. Read more about planting exposed areas.
  • Community drinking water supply
    In Environment Canterbury's Natural Resources Regional Plan the definition of a community drinking water supply is as follows: a public or privately owned supply providing drinking-water to at least 15 dwelling houses or other buildings year-round, or to at least 25 people, but serving the same people for more than six months each year. It includes:

    1. piped water supply networks which supply more than 15 service connections, year-round, including to urban areas, rural-residential and residential subdivisions, and commercial and industrial areas;
    2. schools and other education facilities with more than 25 staff and students, and industrial and commercial premises with more than 25 permanent staff;
    It does not include:
    1. water supplies to subdivisions and water schemes with less than 15 residential connections; or
    2. any water supply which serves transient populations, such as  camp grounds, hotels/motels, restaurants, except  those premises with more than 25 permanent residents or staff.
  • Creech Report
    Investigation of the Performance of Environment Canterbury under the Resource Management Act & Local Government Act. A copy of this report can be found at
  • Containment control
    the treatment of a particular pest by recognised methods and at intervals necessary to ensure that the spread of infestation will be contained or the population levels remain under a specified threshold. Read more about animal pest rules.
  • Compliance monitoring
    The monitoring of the exercise of resource consents issued under the Resource Management Act and activities permitted by a regional plan, to assess compliance with conditions.
  • Contaminant
    Includes any substance that either by itself or in combination with other substances, chnages the physical, chemical, or biological condition of the receiving environment when the substance is discharged.
  • Catchment
    the whole area of land drained by a river or body of water and all its tributaries.
  • Catchment management
    a form of resource management that uses whole catchments as their unit of operation. It contrasts with approaches that separate land management from water management.
  • Common good
    an economic term meaning a good or thing that everyone owns and has a right to use, although that use can be regulated.