05 April 2019

Joint Pānui pāpāho/News Release

The Ngongotahā Community Reference Group has held its inaugural meeting.

The Community Reference Group will help create an Action Plan to reduce the risk of and impact of future storm events in Ngongotahā. The group was set up in response to the Independent Review of the severe weather event in April 2018.

The aim of the group is to provide advice and recommendations to both councils, they will also lead community engagement and consultation around the development of plans for short/medium and long term actions.

Project co-ordinator Elva Conroy said the group recently held their first meeting with members advising how they wanted to progress from here.

She said the meeting went well and members of the group were engaged and enthusiastic participants.

“I think we have a really diverse group with a wide breadth of local knowledge. It was great to get everyone in the same room to discuss where to from here.

“Everyone is really passionate and wants to get stuck in.”

The group has decided to meet monthly and will receive updates on key things happening in the catchment. Together with the two Councils, the group will utilise a range of methods to share information with the community to share information and gather feedback.

Community Reference Group members:

  • Heather Brake
  • Simon Short
  • Sarah Thomson
  • Elliot Pollard
  • Keith Garratt
  • Guy Ngatai - nominated by Ngāti Ngararanui Iwi Trust
  • Joe Edwards - nominated by Ngāti Tura Ngati Te Ngākau
  • Te Poari Newton - nominated by Ngāti Whakaue
  • Lyall Thurston (Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor)
  • Shirley Trumper (Rotorua Lakes Council Rural Community Board member)

Work already undertaken and in progress includes:

  • A new rain gauge has been installed on Mt Ngongotahā to provide earlier flood warnings.
  • Stream flow modelling work on the catchment to assess risks of flooding from different storm scenarios. This is continuing.
  • Other Rotorua streams are also being modelled for flood risk assessment and potential intervention works.
  • Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council working together to ensure land development and consenting processes are well integrated and reflect new target levels of protection including the effects of climate change.
  • The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been stabilising stream banks with rock armouring, clearing debris from several locations, re-establishing trout habitats and has planted more than 700 native plants to help regenerate the Ngongotahā Stream. Streambed repair and maintenance work is set to continue for all streams running through urban areas, affected by the April 2018 storm event.
  • A Ngongotahā community emergency response plan has been created in collaboration with the community and Rotorua Lakes Council civil defence team and sister emergency agencies.

Project timeline

  • December 2018: Release of flood review report
  • February/March 2019: Community reference group established to work through recommendations together with the technical teams
  • May/June 2019: Results from catchment modelling work due and preliminary works options developed
  • June/July: Community engagement and dialogue on draft suite of options
  • July/August: Finalise options report and highlight delivery timeframes (short/medium/long term including funding scenarios)
  • Later 2019 onwards: Presentation of final recommendations to both Councils and progressive implementation of agreed actions once adopted by Councils.