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Climate Change At The Heart Of Stop Bank Focus

River flood protection across the Tūtaekurī, Ngaruroro, Lower Tukituki and Clive rivers is getting a $20 million investment over the next three years.

$7.2 million of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council funding along with the Government’s $12.8 million is being used to focus on assessing and upgrading some of the region’s key stop bank assets. Resilience to an increased level of service for a 1 in 500-year flood event is the key principle to the assessment and prioritisation. Not only does this consider the overtopping risk, but also the structural integrity of the existing stopbanks to the higher performance standard.

This work is one of four regional infrastructure projects worth a total of $30 million, drawing on partner funding from the Crown’s investment into flood control resilience projects.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Rick Barker says this river flood protection project is the biggest stop bank project taken on by the Regional Council in decades.

“Community safety is a Regional Council priority, and river stop banks protect our local communities, the industries and businesses across the highly-productive Heretaunga Plains. This project aims to increase flood protection across the scheme from a 1 in 100-year to a 1 in 500-year flood event level,” says Mr Barker.

“There will be at least eight sites upgraded through the three-year course of this project, which will continue beyond the current three-year allocation of funding,” he says.

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Thirty-nine stop bank sites are being assessed to work out which areas have the greatest priority. Integrity testing and ground investigations have started on five stop banks in this major asset management programme, at Taradale, Ngatarawa, Roy’s Hill, East Clive and Moteo.

“Works on the Taradale site are due to kick off in early November, so we can act quickly during the summer-dry 2021-22 construction window,” says Regional Council Asset Management Group Manager, Chris Dolley.

“Our investigative works on the Taradale stop bank has included archeology assessment, geo-physical testing, Geotech investigations and analysis, topographical survey and detailed design. Given the scope of the physical works, the Taradale site also includes cycle trail detours, tree removal, cycle trail upgrades and the relocation of some specimen trees,” adds Mr Dolley.

“We aim to have this Taradale section completed by May 2022 and we’ll be working closely the local community to keep them up to date on progress and project news.”

In total, the Crown’s IRG funding amounts to $19.2 million, which is a 64% contribution to four projects. The four projects are formally the Heretaunga Plains Flood Control Scheme Levels of Service ($20 million), the Upper Tukituki Gravel Extraction Flood Control Scheme ($8 million), the Upper Tukituki Flood Control Scheme SH50/ Waipawa Erosion ($1 million) and Wairoa River – River Parade Erosion ($1 million).

The four projects are being part-funded through the Crown’s Flood Control Resilience Funding with the Infrastructure Reference Group managed by Kānoa – the Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit.

Trail detour for upcoming works on Taradale stop banks beside the Tūtaekurī River.

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