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Flood repair cost estimate more than $10 million

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 4:00 p.m.

Repairs from recent Bay of Plenty flood events are likely to cost more than $10 million according to figures released today by Bay of Plenty Regional.

The Regional Council's Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee today (SUBS: 23 March 2011) heard that the combined August, December and two January 2011 flood events have been estimated to have caused $10.5 million damage.

Following the August 2010 floods, Council approved the depletion of flood reserves to undertake flood damage repairs. By the end of 2010, $1.1 million had already been spent on repairs from the August floods.

Further storms in late December and floods in January created more damage and exacerbated pre-existing damage in areas where repairs were not complete.

The Regional Council's current best-estimate to repair all remaining flood damage is $9.4 million, in addition to the $1.1 million already spent, bringing the total flood damage cost since August 2010 to $10.5 million.

Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee Chair Malcolm Whitaker said it was important to note that since flood reserves have been completely used an increase in the contribution to flood reserves will be requested as part of the Draft Annual Plan which is open for submissions this week, and next year's Ten Year Plan process.

"These estimated costs mean that river schemes will need to look carefully at how they will continue to be sustainable. Now is the time for Council and scheme ratepayers to join together and take a serious look at the value the schemes provide and how much the scheme ratepayers are prepared to keep paying to repair damage," Mr Whitaker said.

"We also need to look at the methods we use to carry out these repairs to ensure we are using the most technically and economically sound methods to prevent further damage."

Meetings have been set up to discuss flood damage with River Scheme Liaison Groups during March and April.

Possible funding options for the flood repairs including indicative rates if all of the damage is repaired over the next year and possible deferment of planned capital works will be discussed with scheme liaison groups and brought back to Council during the Annual Plan consultation period, taking into account feedback from the Liaison Group meetings.

Ends

For further media information please contact Ken Tarboton, Group Manager Rivers and Drainage on 0800 884 880 or 029 368 9512, or Prue Sisam, Senior Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 881 ext 9155.

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