Our Environment | Te Taiao
What future plans do you want to see for the protection of our environment?
That includes our vulnerable land, coastal environment and improving our biodiversity.
• work plans for erosion-prone land by 2021
• environmental effects and cost of slash, silt, slips and stability
• river aggradation in the Waiapu
• funding to protect from coastal erosion and hazards
• increasing our restoration and biodiversity efforts
The Waipaoa River Flood Control Scheme
The Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme upgrade's underway. The project involves raising the height of the stopbanks where necessary and increasing the width of the stopbanks to improve resilience against bank erosion.
It aims to increase the level of protection from 1:70 year event to a 1:100 year event but allowing for the effects of climate change out to 2090.
Future plans could include a cycleway on top of the banks, which has been allowed for in the consent process.
The work is set to be completed by 2030, bringing it forward to 2025 could put pressure on rates and debt levels.
More information about the Waipaoa River Flood Control Scheme
Erosion protection works
Steep hill country makes up a majority of the land area in our district. The geological make up is soft rock, which means our region has more soil erosion than any other part of New Zealand.
Forestry's been widely used as a method of erosion control for more than 25 years. Exotic forest now covers 20% of the district, so the environmental effects of slash, silt, slips and stability are becoming more difficult to manage as the trees are harvested.
Forestry is now also the largest contributor to the economy in Tairāwhiti so it’s important that we plan for the sustainable future of the industry.
Working with the Ministry of Primary Industries, we assist landowners with funding and are working towards completing work plans for erosion-prone land across the district by 2021. The trend is seeing more land being reverted to Manuka and native plantings which reflects iwi and community aspirations for long-term land uses.
We’re also jointly developing, with Ngati Porou, a catchment management plan for the Waiapu as a priority. Erosion of the right bank of the river near Ruatoria has reached rates as high of 22m per year.
Two dolosse groynes were installed downstream of the Rotokautuku Bridge in 2011 to encourage the river to veer to the left bank where it used to flow before Cyclone Bola. The works appears successful, however, erosion could occur again in the future. Funding of protection works is an issue given the small size of the town and the contribution of landuse practices to river aggradation and erosion along the river banks.
How do we protect communities from tsunami, coastal hazards and flooding?
As sea levels rise, Wainui, Anaura Bay, Tokomaru Bay, Te Araroa and Hicks Bay communities will be increasingly exposed to coastal hazards of erosion, flooding by the sea during storms and tsunami.
So we can expect an increasing demand for coastal protection works in the future and face decisions on how much to invest and when we can afford to implement work.
How do we improve biodiversity and biosecurity?
We're working on restoring areas of natural beauty, by bringing back native flora and fauna. These areas include Titirangi, Waingake, Waihirere, Makorori Headland, Rere and the dunes at Wainui and Waikanae.
A team from Landcare Research funded through the MBIE Envirolink Scheme has also identified the poor state of biodiversity within the region relative to the national average. A long-term goal is to make a connected region of thriving habitat for native species.
Follow the link to our What's the Future Tairāwhiti website and see the ideas