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Flood Control & Drainage
~ Whakamarumaru i ngā waipuke

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Individual Flood Control/Drainage Schemes

HBRC has established and maintained flood protection and/or drainage schemes where there are risks. HBRC manages 12 individual schemes, which are paid for through targeted rates from landowners directly or indirectly benefiting from the scheme.

Where local landowners consider that a local community drainage/flooding scheme may be necessary in their catchment, please discuss with your local HBRC Councillor or HBRC asset management staff.

Wairoa and Central & Southern Rivers and Streams Schemes. All ratepayers also pay for flood forecasting, land purchase and river catchment maintenance to reduce the risk of flooding and help manage flooding through the region.

Environmental Code of Practice

HBRC has an Environmental Code of Practice in place which provides clear standards of practice for river control and drainage works. It also documents the environmental enhancement or conservation protection, identifies areas for public access and recreation, and identifies future enhancement or protection requirements.

Flood and Drainage Schemes

Esk & Whirinaki Flood Control Scheme

This scheme in the Esk Valley and Whirinaki coastal area north of Napier is designed to contain a 2 year return period flood (215 m3/s) within the active river channel while resulting in minimal damage to surrounding property. The scheme is also designed to protect the Whirinaki Mill and power station from a 500+ year return period flood. The scheme was established in 1996. The Esk Valley experienced a devastating flood in 1938.

Kairakau Community Scheme

HBRC maintains flood protection, including the seawall and Mangakuri River retaining wall for the Kairakau community on the Central Hawke’s Bay coastline. HBRC works closely with the Kairakau Development Society (KDS) which requested the scheme. KDS determines, on behalf of the community, what work is needed. HBRC administers the levy funds and provides advice to KDS on the work and level of levy needed. Following large storms, funding may be insufficient to meet the cost of major repair work, and a special meeting and agreement may be required with the community to levy additional funds.

Kopuawhara Stream Flood Control Scheme

This scheme covers the Kopuawhara Stream in Wairoa District from the railway bridge to 4.7km downstream and includes 4.5km of stopbanks. The gravity system scheme was established in 2000 to alleviate the effects of flooding and bank erosion on adjacent land and to reduce the closure of adjacent access roads. Following large storms, funding may be insufficient to meet the cost of major repair work, and a special meeting and agreement may be required with the community to levy additional funds.

Upper Makara Stream Catchment Control Scheme

This scheme in Central Hawke’s Bay reduces number of floods impacting the road network in the Makara valley and community assets around Elsthorpe. This scheme was established in the late 1970s/early 1980s and aims to help improve the productivity and stability of 800 hectares of river flats. The scheme also incorporates soil conservation planting programmes to reduce the silt run off from 2,225 hectares of hill country. Two detention dams reduce the 5 year peak flow by 70% and reduce the risk of flooding in the Makara and Wharemate Streams. One dam was rebuilt in 2013/14 by HBRC.

Maraetotara Flood Control Scheme

This scheme reduces the risks of the Maraetotara River flooding Te Awanga township, roading and communication links. The scheme was established in 2002 and protects to a 1/100 year flood event, although land on the right bank of the river will still be flooded when the river is this high. The scheme keeps the Maraetotara River flood flows within the stopbanks, floodwalls and natural high ground, and a flood-gated outlet from the lagoon through the stopbank to the river.

Ohuia-Whakaki Drainage Scheme

This scheme drains 1,100ha of intensively farmed and cropped coastal plains east of Wairoa township. The scheme was established in 1966 and uses a combination of detention and gravity drains plus controlled pump discharges, to enable landowners to improve production. Flooding outside of the channels is still likely in places.

Opoho Drainage Scheme 

This scheme drains approximately 200ha of low lying, productive land to the east of the Opoho Stream near Nuhaka. The scheme is based primarily on gravity drainage; however when the stream is in flood, the floodgate on the outlet of the drain closes, activating the pump station to take flood waters from the drain into the stream. The scheme and assets were established in the 1970’s but have been added to and altered to meet changing demands and land uses.

Paeroa Drainage Scheme

This scheme uses a gravity system to more rapidly drain surface water from productive land near the Awatere Stream north of Wairoa town.  The scheme was constructed 1953-1958. It includes the last 6.9km of the Awatere Stream and 12.18km of its drainage channels, and is intended to contain water in its channels in a 2 - 5 year rainfall event. The scheme reduces damage to properties and improves production from the land.

Porangahau Flood Control Scheme

This scheme covers 90kms of waterways consisting of the Porangahau River and some of its tributaries in Central Hawke’s Bay. It was established in 1959/60 to reduce flooding and bank erosion and ensure the main access to the community via Porangahau Road is not closed so often due to flooding. The Porangahau Scheme uses only natural assets (streams and rivers) and no hard engineering structures. The main strategy is routine maintenance involving vegetation control, predominantly willow, with minor bank stabilisation and debris build-up removal after flood events.

Poukawa Catchment Scheme

This gravity drainage scheme was established in the late 1970s to early 1980’s to reduce flooding on approximately 1,221 ha of flat land around Lake Poukawa in Central Hawke’s Bay. The scheme reduces the frequency and duration of flooding of the highly productive peat flats and protects community assets, roading and communication links around the lake. HBRC maintains the scheme’s drainage channels (although as a result of peat shrinkage, the level of service provided by the scheme is reducing). 

Raupare Stream Enhancement Scheme

This scheme involves riparian planting and other works identified under the side agreement to the Twyford consents in 2011. The Raupare Enhancement Society (RES) has been working with HBRC on the planting, which has been designed to ensure there is still access for maintenance and to ensure the flood capacity of the Raupare channel is not compromised. Ratepayers within this scheme pay a targeted rate, as agreed to by consent holders who take water for irrigation with the potential to impact on the Raupare Scheme.

Te Ngarue Flood Control Scheme

This scheme reduces the potential for flooding and damage from Te Ngarue Stream to properties and roads alongside the last 3km of the stream between Tangoio Settlement road-bridge and the coast. It was established in 1999 and protects productive agricultural land, community assets, roading and communication links. HBRC maintains the stream by clearing unwanted vegetation while maintaining ecological values. Following large storms, funding may be insufficient to meet the cost of major repair work, and a special meeting and agreement may be required with the community to levy additional funds.

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