We’re working at ways to protect the community from increased flood risk in the coming decades. This project aligns with Council’s strategic framework: Safe and resilient communities - We provide systems and information to increase understanding of natural hazard risks and climate change impacts.

About the project

To protect people, property and livelihoods from our region’s most frequent natural hazard, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council looks after $320 million worth of flood protection assets designed to help manage river flows and collectively work to minimise flood risks.

Project Future Proof is a programme of work to ensure that river scheme assets along the Whakatāne town centre stretches of the awa will continue to protect the community from flooding in the coming decades.

These assets are stopbanks, floodwalls and stop-logs (temporary flood barriers that are installed at times of high river flow).

The first part of the project will address known seepage issues on sections of the stopbank along Kakahoroa Drive and Quay Street.  Seepage is when more water than is desirable passes through the stopbank.

 

Whakatāne waterfront

Geotechnical investigation is underway on urban floodwalls and stopbanks downstream to the Muriwai Drive playground. This helps our engineers to better understand the ground conditions and provides information about possible future design options.

On 6 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. Analysis of flow data gathered during that time, together with the growing body of knowledge about changing weather patterns, has shown that flood defences on the lower Whakatāne River need to be upgraded if they are to continue to protect the community from flooding in the coming decades.

At the same time as investigating the town centre flood protection assets, our engineers are exploring high level catchment specific flood mitigation options as additional or alternative solutions.

We are working closely with Whakatāne District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to ensure that planning to safeguard the town’s flood defence assets is aligned with the Te Ara Hou suite of projects.

We meet regularly with the Te Ara Hou team and are committed to open communication with iwi, hapū and wider community in the course of planning for these inter-connected, transformational, projects for Whakatāne.

We appreciate that the scope of work we are investigating will be of interest to Ngāti Awa, and of particular interest to Ngāti Hokopū. Council acknowledges the traditional values of mana, mauri, whakapapa and tapu which are central to the relationship of Ngāti Awa with the Whakatāne River.

Council also recognises that this iconic stretch of river holds a deep connection for our community and this project touches many interested parties.

This project aligns with Council’s strategic framework: Safe and resilient communities - We provide systems and information to increase understanding of natural hazard risks and climate change impacts.

We will share more information and seek public feedback on the project once more is known about engineering options.

Landowners can take action now. Regional Council offers practical advice and funding subsidies to help landowners complete works that can improve water quality as well as land and business productivity.

Funded works can include fencing, planting, nutrient budgeting, farm planning, detention bunds, treatment wetlands and many other activities. We can also help landowners to access funding from the Te Uru Rākau One Billion Trees Programme.

Get involved

Follow this page to receive email updates as this project progresses.

If you have questions, please contact Project Manager Lars Thiel-Lardon
021 1785714
pms2009ltd@gmail.com

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

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PROJECT CREATED

18 Sep 2020

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