Future of Taringamotu and Ohakune Schemes
Horizons LTP consultation to decide future of Taringamotu and Ohakune Schemes
The future of the Taringamotu and Ohakune flood mitigation Schemes will be part of the Horizons Long Term Plan (LTP) 2018-28 consultation next year.
Ruapehu’s Horizons councillor Bruce Rollinson and group manager of river management Ramon Strong provided an update on both to Ruapehu councillors at their meeting this week (Wed 28 June 17).
Mr. Strong told councillors that the Ohakune Scheme was identified as a priority in 2014 following the flood event in October the previous year.
“The current Scheme proposal includes a series of stop banks, floodwalls, vegetation clearance and the building of a floodway channel and a wetland retention area within the Ohakune flood plain area,” he said.
“Community consultation is due to start in July with the public feedback being an important part of refining the plan.”
“Households will receive a mailbox flyer summerising what is proposed that will be supported by a public meeting and workshops with special interest groups.”
“Implementation costs are estimated to be around $2 million excluding a possible retention dam in the catchment area below Egmont St.”
“As part of the consultation process we will be providing affected ratepayers with rating impact examples.”
Mr. Strong said that the other Ruapehu river management Scheme that will be consulted on in the up-coming LTP is the Taringamotu Scheme on the Ongarue River.
“At the request of the affected community the original seven year proposed work programme was modified into two work stages.”
“Stage one saw a lot of good progress made with the removal of willows and other vegetation along the riverbanks that had been impeding the river’s flow during flood events.”
“The planned stage two would see the removal of the remaining willows along with unstable vegetation on the riverbanks and some gravel management.”
Mr. Strong said the future of the Taringamotu Scheme was currently looking uncertain.
“Based on feedback from the 2016 Scheme AGM and Annual Plan submissions Horizons resolved to not rate for the Scheme for 2017-18 and to consult on winding it up as part of next year’s LTP.”
“Horizons has concerns that if the Scheme is wound up that over the next ten years or so the gains from the investments made so far could be lost,” he said.
“It has been suggested, that going forward Horizons might provide the overall management of the Scheme while local farmers and landowners do the actual work.”
“Unfortunately this is hugely problematic not just in maintaining connectivity and ensuring the work gets done but in meeting such things as health and safety requirements.”
“The most important thing at this stage about either the Taringamotu or Ohakune Schemes is that people properly inform themselves and have their say in the LTP consultation next year.”