Flood risk reduction plan underway

Flood risk reduction plan underway

11 December 2018

Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council will work with the community to develop a joint action plan to reduce flood risk in the Ngongotahā area.

In response to the April 2018 floods which affected areas across the district, the two councils will develop a programme of flood-mitigation actions and will engage with the community in developing the plan. A reference group which will include elected members, iwi and community representatives will be established to advise on an agreed programme of work.

Staff from the two councils have been working together at the same time as an independent panel has reviewed what happened in April, focussed primarily on Ngongotahā but with learnings expected to be applied in future decision-making for the whole of the Rotorua district.

Click on the image below to view a briefing today about the flood review report and work already underway to develop an action plan to reduce future flood risks. The video features Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder and flood review panel Chair Judith Stanway.

The panel’s findings and recommendations, and the work underway to establish a joint plan of action were reported to elected members from both councils yesterday [Monday 10 December].

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said it was important to learn what contributed to the April flood event to provide direction for work that could be done to minimise the impact of future weather events on the community.

The April flood was an approximately one-in 108-year weather event which resulted in 94 homes being declared insanitary (half of those being in Ngongotahā), as well as causing serious damage to roads and bridges throughout the Rotorua district.

“The flood review focussed on Ngongotahā but the findings will help guide future planning and decision-making for the whole district,” Mayor Chadwick said.

“We’re very grateful for the work of the review panel and everyone who contributed. This was a tough time for many in our community – some are still not back in their homes – and we want to put things in place to try and reduce, as much as is possible, the impact of future extreme weather events.

“The April weather event had an impact across the district and we can now consider all the contributing factors and look at what needs to be done to reduce future risk and impact,” the Mayor said.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair Doug Leeder also thanked the panel for its work, saying it would provide valuable insight for the two councils as they progressed a joint programme of work.

“This was an extreme weather event and while nobody can guarantee protection against all possible natural hazard events, we want to work with the Rotorua council to ensure that together we do as much as possible to protect people and property from future events.

“The regional council has already undertaken a considerable amount of work in Rotorua waterways since the April event and we will continue to work with our district council counterparts and the Rotorua community.”

Recommendations from the panel cover the roles and responsibilities of the two councils, flood risk management and assessment, flood management design standards, flood protection works and waterway maintenance, planning and consenting and emergency management.

What have the councils done to date?

  • Installed a new rain gauge on Mt Ngongotahā to improve flood warning abilities.

  • Modelling work on the stream catchment is underway.

  • Other Rotorua streams are also being modelled for flood mitigation works.

  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council has appointed a locally available engineer to work with residents.

  • The two councils are working together to ensure consenting processes are well integrated and reflect target levels of protection.

  • A draft action plan is underway.

Next steps

  • February/March 2019 - establish a project reference group.

  • April/May 2019 – engage with the wider community on the proposed programme of work.

  • June 2019 – options report re proposed work expected to be finalised.

  • July 2019 onwards – progressive implementation of actions

See the flood review panel’s report HERE

See the slides for the presentation made to elected members by staff from the two councils HERE

See the announcement of the review HERE

See the announcement of the appointment of the panel HERE