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Rotorua: Panel to consider flood mitigation and prevention

Panel to consider flood mitigation and prevention measures

An independent advisory panel will be established to consider future flood mitigation and prevention measures for Rotorua.

“We think it’s important to learn from the events of 29 April,” Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says.

“It’s important we understand what happened and what contributed to that so we can improve our ability to deal with adverse events and minimise the impact on our residents.

“The panel is being established at the request of Rotorua Lakes Council although it’s our hope this will be a joint review with Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Rotorua Lakes Council elected members endorsed it today at the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee meeting and regional councillors were considering it today as well.

“Our Council feels very strongly that there is a need to understand all the contributing factors and look at how we can prevent or reduce the risk in future and minimise the impact of future weather events on our community,” Mayor Chadwick says.

“The panel will recommend measures that may prevent or minimise the risk and effects of future flood events. This is important for council and for the community, especially given the level of concern about changing weather and the frequency of adverse weather events.”

While the panel will focus on Ngongotaha, Mayor Chadwick says there will be learnings that can be applied across the district.

“The terms of reference and establishment of the panel will be worked through by our chief executive and his counterpart at the regional council if they come on board.”

It is envisaged the panel will have a membership of three to five but will call on other experts to contribute.

“We also felt it was important, to really understand what happened and the impact of it, that there will need to be some community consultation to ensure we get a complete picture,” Mayor Chadwick says.

The panel will consider regional and district planning matters, engineering options, stormwater, catchment management, future land use and subdivision development considerations and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge).

Mayor Chadwick says the terms of reference are expected to be finalised by the end of this month and the intent is that the panel will provide a final report by the end of August.

“We look forward to getting this work underway to help us in our future decision-making for the benefit of our community and district,” the mayor says.

Watch the full LIVE STREAM video on Facebook here.

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