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Protection works progressing well

Good progress has been made in carrying out river and flood protection works on the Tauranga Taupo River.

Environment Waikato’s Operations Committee heard that drier than normal conditions during June and July allowed work to be done, despite a flood in May which caused substantial damage to flood protection works completed earlier in the year.

The flood on May 22 – the largest at that time of year for 27 years – significantly damaged protection works in progress, sections of riverbank and adjacent properties. The work was most vulnerable while incomplete, Programme Manager Bruce Peploe said.

Since the flood, repair works have been completed and the programme is now back on track.
The flood caused erosion in the partially completed spillway and at the Maniapoto Bend, undermining willow tree protection. It introduced a risk that the river would break through at Maniapoto Bend and find a new course to the lake, he said.

Some repair works still remained, including re-planting the overflow channel, which would be done as soon as weather permitted. The remaining capital work programme would begin again in the coming summer construction season.

This will include starting the eastern stopbanks on the Te Rangiita side of river, upstream of the State Highway Bridge. The Council is having discussions with Transit NZ about these works.

Protection works near Heu Heu Parade are also to be done, which requires a resource consent before works can begin.

Some additional costs have resulted from the need to carry out the repair work, he said. This would be funded from the Project Watershed flood contingency reserves. The rates for Watershed included an allowance for such contingencies and provided a cash flow to fund such capital expenditure.

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