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Published: 2016-06-01 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council has confirmed its commitment to flood protection works at Tauhei, north of Morrinsville, and will spend the next year on design and consenting.

During deliberations on the 2016/17 Annual Plan yesterday, it was agreed staff will spend the next year designing the scheme in a way that enables a staged implementation based on affordability and benefit. Staff will also work through the consenting processes.

Councillors also agreed to consult the community next year on the staged approach to carrying out the works.

The decisions were made based on feedback received from 61 submitters after a proposal for a more extensive $4.28 million flood protection project was released for consultation in March.

“There was not a collective community view on the extent of the works which should be carried out and councillors took this into account when deciding what to do,” said council chairperson, Paula Southgate.

“It was clear that a number of people who submitted against the works were concerned about the overall cost during difficult times for dairy farmers, and there were some upstream landowners who couldn’t see the value in the works to them,” Cr Southgate said.

During yesterday’s meeting the council heard that the Tauhei drainage committee chair and council staff had met with several submitters since hearings in May and had gained support for a staged project implementation.

It’s proposed to carry out the first phase of the works in 2017/18 within the main downstream channel of the Tauhei Stream, following consultation next year.

The 2016/17 Annual Plan, incorporating an amendment to the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan, will be adopted at a special meeting of council on Wednesday, 29 June.