Stopbanks being raised at a great pace

Thursday 29 February, 2024

Big construction works are going on at a great pace as stopbanks around the region get built up post Cyclone Gabrielle.

Regional Rivers Manager Joss Ruifrok said the Eastern (city) side of the Waipaoa Stopbank Flood Control Upgrade has been completed.

“This is a 25km stretch from Ormond township to the ocean, which is now both higher and significantly wider. This higher standard will provide more flood protection accounting for climate change effects out to 2090 (greater rain events and sea level rise).

“The focus is now on the western side of the river, with about 17kms already completed downstream of the Patutahi township.

“Work will continue upstream of Patutahi, with 25kms of stopbanks to be progressively upgraded to a higher level of flood protection.”

The project is on target to be completed in around three years (pending favorable weather conditions).

An $18 million funding application submitted to fully complete the Waipaoa Stopbank construction works, was formally approved in February 2024.

Kirkpatrick Road is also being modified as part of the Waipaoa project. This work involves raising the road ‘low points’ located on either side of the Whakaahu Stream up to the higher stopbank design height. Construction work started in early February 2024 and is expected to be completed in April 2024.

Mr Ruifrok says there is also work underway on the Te Karaka Flood Resilience Improvement Project, which focuses on the development of a hydraulic model in the first instance.

“A partial model was completed in February 2024, which replicates the sequence of flooding that happened during Cyclone Gabrielle.

“There will be ongoing improvements to this model, and we’re planning workshops with the community to validate and further refine it.”

Waipaoa stopbanks under contruction western side Feb 2024 Waipaoa Stopbanks on the western side looking north at SH2 Matawhero Bridge.

Waipaoa stopbanks completed western side

Completed and upgraded Waipaoa Stopbanks on the western side looking north towards SH2 Matawhero Bridge