Cutting-edge technology for Waimatā River

Monday 20 May

Gisborne District Council is excited to announce a groundbreaking addition to the woody debris cleanup program along the Waimatā River.

As part of this initiative, a specialised LiDAR drone is being deployed to measure volumes of large wood debris (LWD) in and around the river.

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology allows for precise 3D mapping and measurement of objects on the ground.

The work is part of Council’s Government-funded woody debris clean-up programme which aims to reduce risk to communities and critical infrastructure such as bridges.

The larger-than-normal drone, equipped with LiDAR sensors, will capture detailed data about LWD distribution and volumes. The drone survey is currently underway, starting from the upper reaches of the Waimatā River.

The drone operators will soon reach city limits, covering critical areas where debris poses risks to infrastructure.

The larger drone may attract attention due to its size.

Council Community Lifelines Director Tim Barry acknowledges residents’ concerns about privacy, especially regarding backyard filming.

“Efforts will be made to minimise any inconvenience while prioritising accurate data collection.

“Operators will avoid flying over houses; however, this may be required in certain parts of the river. No footage or images will be taken of private property.”

Weather permitting, the LiDAR drone will cover the entire stretch of river with work expected to be finished by the end of June.

Updates will be provided through official Council channels, including the Council website, social media, and local news outlets.

For further inquiries, please contact Council on 0800 653 800.

Photo captions:n The Waimatā River is being surveyed by a LiDAR drone to measure the amount of Large Wood Debris (LWD) in the river and where it is. The map above shows the areas of the river covered by drone with the orange section covered last week, the green section this week followed by the dark blue and then light blue sections. Work is expected to be finished by the end of June.

Drone going up Waimata LWD 2024

Map of where drone goes waimata river 2024