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Published: 2013-01-22 00:00:00

A joint community meeting is being held this Saturday to discuss a revised proposal of engineering works to help resolve the flooding problems experienced on properties around Graham’s Creek.

Staff from Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) will host the meeting being held from 10am to 12pm on Saturday 26 January at the Tairua Bowling Club on Hornsea Road. 

In addition to attending a presentation, people will be able to circulate between five information stations covering funding and rating, the proposed floodway improvement works, causeway upgrade, stream maintenance programme and the consultation process. 

At the end of the meeting affected property owners will be invited to informally indicate whether or not they support a revised proposal of floodway improvement works. 

The revised proposal was developed by Waikato Regional Council based on feedback from the Graham’s Creek community during the 2012-2022 Long Term Plan consultation. Key works in the revised proposal include:

  • channel improvement works to improve the flow of water
  • construction of a spillway to redirect floodwater from the main channel to the downstream reserve
  • new stopbanks and earth banks to retain floodwater in the channel
  • increasing the height of the existing Manaia Road stopbank so floodwater up to a 1-in-100 year flood event doesn’t go over it. 

The proposed works have an estimated cost of around $600,000 and are expected to significantly reduce flood risks for the majority of property owners if carried out in conjunction with an upgrade to the Manaia Road causeway and continued programme of stream maintenance. 

The regional and district councils have been working with Graham’s Creek property owners since 2005 to address flood risks as part of the Peninsula Project. 

“Early on stream maintenance was identified as a priority by the community and a programme of work has been in place since 2007,” said the regional council’s Coromandel zone manager, Julie Beaufill. 

“Although this work helps with erosion and keeping the creek free of blockages it doesn’t address the bigger problems, like the extent to which floodwater encroaches onto properties during heavier rainfall events. 

“The community also identified the need to increase the bridge’s capacity to discharge water into the harbour under the causeway on Manaia Road. TCDC has set aside funding to build a new bridge, but has been quite clear about the need to do this in conjunction with floodway improvement works.” 

However, Ms Beaufill stressed that the community has the option of telling us they want to stick with the status quo of regular stream maintenance, but no floodway improvement works and no upgrade to the Manaia Road causeway. 

A newsletter outlining the proposed floodway improvement works was sent to all ratepayers in the Graham’s Creek area just before Christmas. People who didn’t receive a newsletter, or who want to informally indicate whether or not they support the proposed works but are unable to attend the community meeting, should call Waikato Regional Council on freephone 0800 800 401. 

The informal indication of support will help determine whether a floodway improvement proposal for Graham’s Creek is included in Waikato Regional Council’s 2013/14 Annual Plan, which will be formally consulted on from Tuesday 12 March to Friday 12 April.