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Published: 2003-03-13 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is moving the Tauranga Taupo River back to the course it took before the flood of December 2001.

Re-directing the river is the next stage of flood protection and river management works on the Tauranga Taupo, Programme Manager Bruce Peploe said. The work involves blocking off the breakout point of the river above the old quarry and returning it to its old course to reduce flood effects and make it easier to manage in future floods.

“The re-diversion will enable the Kiko overflow to operate, which will reduce the flood risks to the settlements of Oruatua and Te Rangiita. Combined with this work Transit NZ have agreed to increase the size of the culverts under the State Highway near Kiko Road, which will also help with managing high flows in the river.”

Returning the river to its old course will also mean maximum use can be made of earlier protection works, which involved a series of stopbanks. These will continue to form part of the overall scheme.

The re-diversion, which will be done before the end of March, will result in some discolouration of the river but it should only be temporary, he said.

“Environment Waikato is working closely with all the agencies, involved including property owners and the Department of Conservation to reduce any effects from the works.”