Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Whangarei flood detention dam draws closer

Whangarei flood detention dam draws closer

Moves are underway on behalf of ratepayers to compulsorily acquire the handful of remaining Raumanga properties needed to allow construction of an $8 million detention dam designed to better protect central Whangarei from flooding.

Eight months after signalling its intention to use the Public Works Act to acquire the eight properties (including two with homes on them), the Northland Regional Council has recently formally served notices to that effect.

Bruce Howse, the council’s Land/Rivers Senior Programme Manager, says all going well construction of the dam – to be sited at the ends of Raumanga Valley Road and Kotuku Street – is due to begin late next year.

When completed mid-2015, it will hold up to 1.27 million cubic metres of floodwater during heavy rain, about two-thirds of the Whau Valley dam’s capacity. The detention dam would then slowly release the trapped water over the next couple of days, reducing river swelling and downstream flooding that would otherwise threaten Whangarei’s CBD.

Mr Howse says the dam will be one of the largest engineering projects the regional council has embarked on and involves securing 20 private properties worth about $4m collectively and covering about 25 hectares on behalf of ratepayers. Another 7ha of Whangarei District Council road and reserve land is also needed.

He says initial discussions to secure all the land required began about two years ago but moved up a notch in February this year.

“The regional council has now secured 12 of the 20 properties needed for an as yet- undisclosed sum. Eight of these were homes and the remainder involved bare land or easements over land.”

Mr Howse says the council’s attempts to secure the remaining eight properties (including two with homes on them) are ongoing.

“We remain hopeful of a positive outcome with several of these owners, but in order to keep to a reasonably tight construction timeframe which is largely dictated by weather, council has now formally issued notices to take land and/or easements under the Public Works Act.”

Mr Howse says the act provides a formal mechanism to secure the land needed for public benefit, but also ensures both parties’ legal rights are recognised and that fair compensation is made.
The act’s provisions are more commonly used by officials for large scale roading projects like the Kamo bypass extension.

All going well – and dependant on any possible appeals – the regional council hopes to have secured all the land required for the detention dam within the next six to 12 months.

The dam is part of a multi-phase project to reduce the impact of flooding in Whangarei’s CBD, which also involves river clearance to remove blockages and current upgrading of the Rust Avenue Bridge to improve stream flows beneath it.

Mr Howse says while its current estimated $8 million price tag does represent a big upfront investment, the proposed dam should significantly reduce the cost of flood damage in the Whangarei CBD and effectively pay for itself in just a few years.

The council will pay for the dam via a targeted rate on 23,000 properties in the CBD and contributing catchment areas.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>


Parliament Today:

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>


Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>


ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>


Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>


Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>


Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news