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 nearly $370 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.

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

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.

6 months 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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