08 February 2024

Ground has broken on Stage One of Project Future Proof, a multi-stage, multi-year project to replace and improve the flood defences along the Whakatāne CBD stretches of the river.

Stage One of this project will improve the flood defences from the McAlister Street Pump Station to the Whakatāne iSite. The existing stopbanks will be increased in width and height, while the existing floodwalls will be removed and replaced in phases, to ensure the current flood protection remains while the works are happening.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Engineering Manager Mark Townsend says breaking ground on the first stage of this project is a significant milestone – the culmination of years of research, modelling and data analysis, as well as collaborative discussions with Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa and Whakatāne District Council.

“We’re very pleased to be taking this first step of Project Future Proof alongside our partners. We recognise the impact that a significant flood event has on the Whakatāne community; these upgrades are an important part of reducing the risk that increasing weather events pose to people, property and livelihoods."

While construction is underway, there will be disruption to the community. The Warren Cole Walkway will be closed around the work site and a detour will be set up for walkway users.

Kakahoroa Drive will be reduced to one lane from The Warehouse entrance to the roundabout by the iSite, creating a one-way system. Eastbound vehicles will be required to follow a detour through town. The carparks in this section will be inaccessible.

Mr Townsend said the Regional Council thanks residents for their patience and understanding.

If people have any questions about the works, they can visit the website boprc.govt.nz/future-proof or email engineering@boprc.govt.nz

ENDS

Illustrative map that indicates the closure area and walkway detour. 

For further media information, please contact media@boprc.govt.nz