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

 

Flood risks underscored by recent wild weather

9 February 2011

Flood risks underscored by recent wild weather

Two consecutive weekends of wild weather in the Waikato late last month underlined the increased risks the region faces from river flooding, Environment Waikato’s river and catchment services committee heard yesterday.

“The reality is that as a region we need to be better prepared to cope with river flooding and to minimize the risks we face,” committee chairman Stuart Kneebone said after a briefing to the meeting. The Queensland and Victoria floods had also highlighted the importance of planning for a large scale disaster and working closely with various agencies to reduce the effects.

“River flooding is the most frequent natural hazard we face and we can’t afford to be complacent about it. We need a closely coordinated, multi-faceted approach to managing and reducing this risk.”

Regional hazards and emergency management programme manager Adam Munro told the committee there were 20 major rivers and about 1400 streams in the wider Waikato. Just under a tenth of the region was in known flood hazard areas. “Hotspots” included the Coromandel, the Waihou and Piako river catchments, parts of Hamilton and surrounding areas, the lower Waikato River, parts of the Waipa River catchment, the upper Waikato River, Lake Taupo and the west coast around Awakino, Marokopa and Raglan.

Mr Munro said there had been extensive urban and rural development of flood prone areas, which contained about $15 billion of building and developments. The extensive flood protection infrastructure in the region would cost about $500 million to replace.

Climate change was forecast to increase extreme rainfall events and raise sea levels. While the Waikato had been able to handle extreme weather events in recent years Mr Munro said he was concerned about the region’s ability to handle a really big river flooding event. Also, recent work on river flood trends had shown a rapid increase in development proposals within flood hazard areas over the past five years.

“River flood hazards are subject to the impacts of more frequent and severe weather systems, population growth, pressure for development in areas prone to flood hazards and significant land use changes in the upper catchments of the Waikato River system,” Mr Munro said.

The current review of the Waikato Regional Policy Statement was examining what more could be done to manage and mitigate river flooding risk, including improving policy and planning, and building public awareness of the risks, he added. It was important for local communities and property owners to ensure they were aware of the risks from flooding in their locality.

Cr Kneebone said EW’s co-ordinated approach to river flood management had already significantly reduced the impact of flooding on Waikato communities.

“In co-operation with agencies like Civil Defence and local councils, we will be looking closely at what more we can do to manage the situation in the face of factors such as climate change and development pressures.

“It’s important that we get this right when it comes to protecting lives and property from the ravages of river flooding,” Cr Kneebone said.

“Communities can potentially become complacent when we go for long periods without significant events but it’s important for us all to keep our eye on the ball when it comes to flooding.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Office Of The Speaker: 2021 Register Of Pecuniary And Other Specified Interests Presented

The 2021 Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament was presented to the House today. It contains a summary of members’ pecuniary and other specified interests as at 31 January 2021. The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon ... More>>

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels