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Earthwork definitions

Regional Councils
Earthworks can be described as "the disturbance of land surfaces by blading, contouring, ripping,
moving, removing, placing or replacing soil or earth, or by the excavation, or by cutting or filling
operations". (ARC, Sediment Control Regional Plan)

Soil Disturbance - The disturbance of land surfaces by any means including blading, blasting,
contouring, cutting of batters, excavation, ripping, root raking, excludes normal maintenance of legally
established structures, roads, tracks, and railway lines. The definition also excludes those activities
that are identified as vegetation clearance activities. (Environment Waikato)

Roading and tracking activities - Earthworks associated with the formation of any new road or track or
the upgrade of any existing road or track excluding normal maintenance of legally established roads
and track. (Environment Waikato)

Earthworks - Any activity that exposes, disturbs, places or deposits land and soil. Such activities
include, but are not limited to, tracking, roading, cleanfill sites, cut and fill operations, quarrying and
mining and re-contouring. Excludes area-wide treatment (pavement overlay and strengthening) and
road resealing (pavement rehabilitation) of existing roading, normal domestic gardening practises,
maintenance of roads and tracks, (including railway tracks), the formation of walking tracks, cultivation
(except where re-contouring is involved), maintenance of linear network utility support structures, and
maintenance (including minor realignment) of existing foot tracks within public reserves and the
conservation estate. (Environment BOP)

Soil Disturbance - Soil disturbance means the disturbance of soil by any means including blading,
contouring, ripping, discing, root raking. moving, ploughing, removing, cutting and blasting (Hawkes
Bay Regional Council)

Soil Disturbance - means the disturbance of soils by any means, including blading, blasting,
contouring, ripping, root-raking, moving, removing, excavating, and cutting. Soil disturbance excludes:

Soil disturbance as a result of vegetation disturbance activity;

Non-motorised soil disturbance activities;

Thrusting, boring, trenching or mole ploughing associated with cable or pipe laying;

Soil disturbance undertaken by a mine or quarry operation which either had a currently valid mining

licence, or was lawfully established, at 26 April 1997 (the date the Regional Soil Plan was publicly


Cultivation and grazing; and

Foundation works for structures.

(Greater Wellington Regional Council)

Earthworks The disturbance of soil or earth by any means including excavation (including
subsurface), tunneling, drilling, infilling, land rehabilitation or restoration, stockpiling, dumping of soil
or sand, and the construction/reconstruction of any track, embankment, or drainage channel.
Earthworks does not include:

Disturbing the topsoil for domestic gardening

Vegetation disturbance that does not affect the topsoil or the root plate of trees.

V-blading, flipping, humping and hollowing

(West Coast Regional Council)

Earthworks means the excavation of, and/or filling with topsoil, subsoil, sediments, rock and/or other
underlying materials on which the soil is formed. Earthworks include, but is not limited to, the
construction of roads, tracks, firebreaks and landings, and ground shaping (re-contouring), root raking
and blading. (Environment Canterbury)

District Councils
Earthworks means modification of land surfaces by blading, contouring, ripping, moving, removing,
placing or replacing soil or earth, or by excavation, or by cutting or filling operations, including the
importation of fill (see definition of clean fill, provided that within the Special 16 (Omaha South
Development) Zone, earthworks exclude the cultivation of land and the digging of holes for the
erection of posts or the planting of trees, landscaped area and gardens. (Rodney District Council)

Earthworks - "earth-moving operations carried out by any means for development purposes and
includes: -
(a) The removal of vegetation;
(b) The disturbance of land surfaces by moving, removing, placing or replacing soil, or by excavation
or cutting and filling operations;
(c) contouring;
(d) Road, driveway, and access construction." (ACC Operative Isthmus District Plan).

Earthworks means the alteration of land contours on any site including: (a) Disturbance of land by
moving, removing, placing or replacing soil or by excavation or cutting, filling or backfilling (b) Re-
compacting of existing natural ground. (Tauranga City Council)

Land Disturbance means the disturbance of land by any means including earthworks; blading,
trenching, sidecutting, surface excavation, overburden and spoil disposal, ground levelling,
construction of earth dams, cultivation; and the construction, maintenance, realignment or widening of
roads or tracks. In respect of Chapter 4- Natural Heritage: cultivation is excluded from the definition of
land disturbance (Gisborne District Council).

Earthworks means "the removal, relocation or deposit of earth (which includes any substance
constituting the land such as soil, clay, sand and rock) from a natural or constructed land formation.
Topsoil stripping, turf farming, ground cultivation, and quarrying are excluded form the definition of
earthworks": (Wellington City District Plan).

Earthworks - Any modification of land associated with subdivision or development, including

excavation and filling, removing and replacing soil, contouring, cutting , levelling, deposition of
cleanfill, and road, driveway and access construction (Hutt City)

Earthworks include any alteration to the land contour or disturbance of land including the deposition of
cleanfill and the excavation and backfilling or re-compaction of existing natural ground, but excludes
cultivation and domestic gardening. For the Residential, Commercial/Retail, Paraparaumu Town
Centre and Industrial/Service zones, any earthworks associated with the construction of buildings
subject to a building consent, provided all work is contained within 2 metres outside the exterior
foundations, shall be exempt from the permitted activity standards. The limits on earthworks in the
Standards apply to any earthworks within any 12 month period except in relation to overflow paths,
ponding areas and the river corridor zone. (Kapiti Coast District Plan)
Earthworks means the disturbance of land surfaces by the removal or depositing of material,
excavation, filling or the formation of roads, banks, and tracks. Excludes the cultivation of land and the
digging of holes for offal pits and the erection of posts or poles or the planting of trees. (Queenstown
Lakes District Council)