06 July 2018

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has now completed repair works at 30 of the 200 locations along the lower Ngongotahā, Utuhuina and Puarenga Streams that were damaged during the 29 April floods.

“We made it our first priority to survey the whole Rotorua Lakes area and reduce further flood risk by removing the highest risk stream blockages caused by the storm. Since then our staff have been working through a prioritised list of sites where erosion repair or debris removal is needed to reduce ongoing risk to buildings, access or of debris dam formation,” said Bay of Plenty Regional Council Rotorua Catchments Manager Helen Creagh.

More than $100,000 has been spent by Regional Council on stream clean-up and repair work so far. That’s included the removal of at least ten truck-loads of logs, mulched bamboo, willow, and other debris from the Ngongotahā Stream.

Regional Council Rivers and Drainage Engineer Kerry Smith said that some sites have taken a week or more to fix, such as at Parawai Marae on the Ngongotahā Stream which needed 350 tonnes of rock reinforcement to stabilise the stream bank.

“Other sites have taken just a few hours or days to clear debris and fix fences. There’s still lots more work to do in the coming months, including planting at some locations. We’ll be doing more earthworks as weather, ground conditions and contractor availability allows. We’re also establishing stockpiles so we’re ready for erosion repair works this summer when stream levels are lower,” Mr Smith said.

Ms Creagh said that Regional Council staff have also been supporting rural landowners with flood repairs and clean-up on their properties.

“Repairing stream-bank fences and stabilising slips are really important for reducing sediment, bacteria and nutrient run-off into local waterways. Some farmers are keen to improve their future flood resilience by fencing and planting wider riparian buffer areas."

"It’s a good way to protect their precious soils and local water quality at the same time, so we’re keen to support that approach. We can often help with funding if landowners give us a call on 0800 884 880 to discuss their plans,” Ms Creagh said.