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Published: 2011-05-19 00:00:00

A nine year project to provide 100 year flood protection to people and property in a Coromandel Peninsula town has entered its final stage.

Work on the $2.2 million project began shortly after a June 2002 storm event, known as a ‘weather bomb’, brought high winds and torrential rain to most parts of the upper North Island.

It resulted in Te Puru Stream bursting its banks, sending tonnes of mud and debris through homes and properties.  

Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) have been working with the Te Puru community since that time to put in place flood mitigation measures.

Julie Beaufill, the regional council’s river and catchment services Coromandel programme manager, said work began in February on the final stage of the project.

“We have agreement from all directly affected landowners for access to construct the floodwalls and stopbanks and, other than some inconvenient rain, all is progressing well,” Ms Beaufill said.

“It is anticipated construction works will be completed by the end of June, but we are heavily reliant on enough fine weather between now and then.”

“It’s the fifth Thames coast community to have flood protection in place. The floodwalls and stopbanks have been designed to provide the community 100 year protection, although it is important to remember there is the possibility that a greater than 100 year flood may occur one day.”

Thames-Coromandel District Council chief executive officer Steve Ruru said collaboration between a number of local and central government agencies had been the key to addressing flooding issues. 

“Through this partnership there is a proposed District Plan change in relation to flood hazards, possum and goat control on Crown and private land to help stabilise catchments and the NZTA has upgraded the Te Puru and Tararu state highway bridges,” Mr Ruru said.

The flood protection project is being partly funded through community rates, which will be put in place by Waikato Regional Council from 1 July 2012, along with contributions from the wider Peninsula, region and central government.