16 December 2020

ORC undertaking flyovers to monitor land disturbance this week

Otago Regional Council (ORC) is once more taking to the skies for a bird’s eye view on land use in the region this week, to monitor for land disturbance from forestry and land developments.


ORC Manager Compliance Tami Sargeant said the flights were a good chance to spot land disturbances and discharges of contaminants to water.

“Land disturbance from these operations, if proper measures are not taken, can lead to sediment and nutrients from the ground running off into waterways. One of the advantages of these flights is being able to spot issues that are harder to see on the ground.”

Another objective of the flights is to help farmers prepare for new winter grazing requirements.

“Our usual winter flyovers are mainly monitoring for land disturbances and discharges of contaminants to water. The benefit of doing these flights during summer is the ability to spot potential risks for the environment and have a proactive conversation with landowners, rather than investigating discharges after the fact.

“It’s part of our collaborative, education-first approach to compliance monitoring across Otago,” Ms Sargeant said.

Any potential issues spotted from the air will be followed up on the ground in consultation with the landowner concerned.

ORC’s Rural Liaison Team are more than happy to visit Otago farms and help develop a strategic grazing plan for anyone who would like advice on managing their forage crop this winter. To get in touch with the team, contact rural@orc.govt.nz, or call 0800 474 082.

Photo: ORC staff on a previous winter compliance flyover

ORC staff on a previous winter compliance flyover.