Proposed regulations for dam safety

Submissions closed: 06 August 2019, 5pm

The eight week consultation period for the proposed dam safety regulatory framework closed on 6 August 2019.

We received submissions from a wide range of dam sector stakeholders. In total, 106 submissions were received.

A summary of submissions is now available.

These regulations propose to establish a nationally consistent approach that would protect people, property and the environment from the potential impact of a large dam’s failure without imposing undue compliance costs.

This would bring New Zealand into line with the majority of OECD countries that already have dam safety schemes in place.


The proposed new scheme pulls together post-construction regulatory requirements into a single, consistent nationwide framework. The owners of dams would be responsible for ensuring that their dams are being managed appropriately, proportionate to the risk they pose.

The proposals aim to ensure that classifiable dams are well maintained and regularly monitored, and that potential risks of dam failure are reduced.

The scheme also recognises that the dam safety requirements need to be regularly reviewed because the consequences of dam failure can change over time due to factors such as site conditions, urban development or population growth.

Last updated: 31 October 2019