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Council briefs Minister on flooding work programme

Friday 2 May 2014

Council briefs Minister on flooding work programme

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed the support of other agencies including the Government, EQC and insurers as it tackles the flooding issues facing the city.

Lianne Dalziel and Councillors Raf Manji and Phil Clearwater today met with the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee to brief him and his staff on work that is underway on the short to medium and longer-term solutions to flooding issues throughout the city, including Banks Peninsula.

"Like the Council, the Government recognises that flooding is a major issue of the city and we are committed to working together on solutions to a situation that for hundreds of our residents is quite intolerable," Lianne Dalziel says.

The Council this week set up a Flooding Taskforce of 38 people, including Council staff assisted by engineering consultants and staff from the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team, Environment Canterbury, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and EQC to develop short to medium-term solutions to the serious flooding problems. The Taskforce will prepare a report for the Council to consider on 12 May.

Lianne Dalziel has asked that the Council's recovery partners, including CERA, Ecan, EQC and private insurers, swing into action to assist the Taskforce, saying that a cross-agency approach is needed given the scale and complexity of the task.

A joint CERA and Council-led Flood Management Steering Group, which includes other agencies, has also been set up to provide local and central Government oversight and policy advice on flood management and mitigation issues following the earthquakes.

The work by the Taskforce is running in tandem to the Council's land drainage recovery project which is developing area wide flood mitigation options, including large scale physical works, to protect the worst affected areas from flooding. There are 63 Land Drainage Recovery projects that have formed part of the Council's work programme over the past two years. A report on the longer-term proposed flood mitigation for the Flockton area will be considered by the Council's Earthquake Recovery Committee on 5 June.

Lianne Dalziel says the Prime Minister made it clear when he announced that the public would have a say on future use of the residential red zone that the city would be able to use some of the land for flood mitigation. “We are working on proposals such as moving stop banks, shifting roads and finding a more environmentally sensitive way to manage stormwater,’” she says

Lianne Dalziel today asked Council staff to contact around 150 households that are known to have been breached by floodwaters in the March event. These residents will be contacted individually to update and test information about their own and neighbouring properties and how they performed in last two events. Community Boards and community groups are being asked to assist by ensuring all affected households are identified.

The Council will run an information drop in centre from 11am to 4pm at the Edgeware Bowling Club, 6 Forfar Street, Edgeware on Saturday 3 May.

The Council will also hold two focus group meetings for elected members and key stakeholders in the Flockton Area at the Edgeware Bowling Club on Saturday 3 May.

The purpose of the focus groups is to discuss the issues facing the residents of the Flockton area and to also discuss potential solutions for temporary flood mitigation until a permanent solution is decided on and implemented.

The times of the meetings are:

11am to 12:30pm (Focus group 1)
2pm to 3:30pm (Focus group 2)

The focus groups will be run by an independent researcher and will involve eight to 10 people.

- ends -

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