Project Futureproof is a staged project to upgrade flood protection, such as stopbanks and floodwalls, along the Whakatāne town centre stretches of the Whakatāne River / Ōhinemataroa.

Why are we doing this?

whakatane waterfrontIn April 2017, the Whakatāne District experienced widespread damage to homes, property, businesses, the natural environment and infrastructure as a result of the events generated by ex-Tropical Cyclones Debbie and Cook.

Using data gathered during that time, as well as what we know now about the changing climate, we need to upgrade the flood defences on the lower Whakatāne river, to help protect those who live, work and play in this part of the rohe.

As the climate changes, communities across New Zealand are adapting to meet the challenges of a rising sea level and more frequent, more significant rain events that may cause flooding.

Flood protection is the first line of defence when it comes to reducing the impact of significant flooding, which is why we now have more than $370M of flood protection assets across the rohe.

Find out more about our flood protection efforts across the rohe.

The first part of Project Futureproof is to upgrade stopbanks along the awa that have seepage issues.

Seepage is when water passes through a stopbank in heavy rain events. While some seepage is normal, if too much water escapes, then this results in soil loss and can lead to stopbank collapse.

This is to be followed by options to increase the capacity of our flood protection. Based on investigations to date, and predictions for sea level rise, future flood protection work is likely to include raising the floodwall structures.

The timing of decisions on this will depend on the outcomes from a study on the viability and costs of identified upstream flood detention options.

As such, where the seepage control works are planned, floodwall foundation strengthening will be completed at the same time for efficiency.

Our team are also working with community groups and organisations to look at other flood protection options along the river, to ensure it is suitable – now and into the future.

As of mid-2022, we have completed an initial phase of surveying and testing the stopbanks and floodwalls to determine what needs to be done.

These investigations have helped our engineers to better understand the ground conditions and what options are possible. The data will determine what upgrades are required below the ground and will inform the upgrades needed for the flood structures.

We have been working closely with Whakatāne District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, and we will soon be engaging with the community on the proposed above-ground design options.

This is an opportunity to ensure the flood defences are suitable, while ensuring they aren’t stopping people from enjoying the mauri of the awa. 

We will share more information and seek public feedback on the project once we have the proposed designs ready for consultation. 

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Whakatāne waterfront
Whakatāne waterfront. Photo credit: Jos’s Photography and Framing.

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PROJECT CREATED

18 Sep 2020

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Project Updates

4 months ago

Survey work

We’ll be out and about doing some surveying work on a section of the Whakatāne River front this week.

This is all part of our investigations for Whakatāne Future Proof which is a programme of work to ensure the stopbanks and floodwalls along the town centre will continue to help protect our community from flooding now, and in the future.

5 months ago

Warren Cole River Walk in Whakatāne

We wanted to give a heads up to users of the Warren Cole River Walk in Whakatāne that there will be some disruption from today.

Warren Cole River Walk in Whakatāne

We wanted to give a heads up to users of the Warren Cole River Walk in Whakatāne that there will be some disruption from today.

We’re doing investigations between the McAlister Street Pump Station and the Whakatāne Yacht Club  from the 4-15th of April. At times we will need to temporarily close the walkway and will have detour signs for you to follow along the boardwalk around the flax pond lagoon.

These investigations are part of our efforts to understand more about the condition of our flood defences below the ground surface to help determine whether the stopbank needs upgrading.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding as we undertake this important work.

about 2 years ago

Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be doing investigations along the Wairere Stream from Quay Street to Wairere Falls next week as part of its efforts to understand more about the condition of Whakatāne’s flood defences.

2 July update

Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be doing investigations along the Wairere Stream from Quay Street to Wairere Falls next week as part of its efforts to understand more about the condition of Whakatāne’s flood defences.

From Monday 5 to Wednesday 7 July, Perry Geotech Limited staff will be working on a number of mobile rigs and hand devices.  The work along the Wairere Stream is focused on finding out the soil composition, ground stability and hydraulic capacity of the stream bed and the results will be used to determine what needs to happen next.

There will be some traffic disruption in the area identified so please be patient, take care in the area and drive safely around the worksite.

These investigations are part of a multi stage project called Project Future Proof: Whakatāne Town Centre Flood Defence Upgrade which is ensuring that our stopbanks and floodwalls will continue to protect the community from flooding in the coming decades.

about 2 years ago

Mataatua Reserve Geotechnical Investigation

On the 12 and 13th of May (weather permitting) we will be doing geotechnical investigations at Mataatua Reserve.

Geotechnical Investigations Mataatua Reserve

One of Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s core roles is to make sure our infrastructure is protecting our people, property and livelihoods.

In Whakatāne that means making sure that our stopbanks and floodwalls will continue to protect the community from flooding in the coming decades.

As part of this we are doing some upcoming work at Mataatua Reserve.

What we’re doing:

Bay of Plenty Regional Council need to undertake geotechnical investigation work in the Mataatua Reserve on the 12th and 13th of May (weather dependent).

Why we’re doing it:

In April 2017, Whakatāne experienced prolonged torrential rain which caused extensive flooding and damage to homes, properties, business and infrastructure. Using data gathered during that time, alongside our growing knowledge of changing weather patterns, we’ve found that flood defences on the lower Whakatāne River need to be upgraded.

This work will be a multi stage project called Whakatāne Future Proof. We are currently in an initial phase of investigating and testing the stopbanks and floodwalls to determine what needs to be done to reduce the pressure on the stopbank during large flood events.

The work in Mataatua Reserve is focused on finding out the soil composition and ground stability.

What you’ll see:

You will see a couple of Perry Geotech Ltd contractors on a mobile rig. They will be pushing a 30mm cone head mechanically into the ground until it hits riverbed rock or other highly dense soil material and can’t go any deeper. The rod is then retracted from the hole.

Eight tests will be done in the areas outlined in yellow on the map below.

Please keep away from the site identified while this work is underway.

How we’ll do it safely:

We understand that any work done on the Mataatua Reserve needs to be done in a way that keeps everyone safe. There will be no risk to the community during this testing.

There will be no ground disturbance other than a 30mm rod being driven into the ground.

No soil will be removed, and the cone will be cleaned onsite to ensure all materials are left in the test hole and the machinery free of dirt.

The 30mm grass holes will be plugged, and grass will grow back within a month.

What’s next?

The results will be used to determine the level of upgrade required and what options are technically viable.

Once we have collated the results, we’ll be consulting with you and will keep you informed every step of the way.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions, please contact:

Lars Thiel-Lardon, Project Manager
0800 884 880
Lars.Thiel-Lardon@boprc.govt.nz

map of geotech investigations

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