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Flood Control & Drainage
~ Whakamarumaru i ngā waipuke

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Major Flood Control Schemes

HBRC manages two major flood control schemes on the Heretaunga Plains and in the Upper Tukituki River. Ratepayers in these areas pay rates to fund the maintenance work.

Heretaunga Plains Flood Control and Drainage Scheme

This scheme covers the low lying river plains of the Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro and lower Tukituki Rivers. It provides flood control and drainage benefits for approximately 39,000 hectares of land and protection for approximately 127,000 people. Some land near the coast is at sea-level making drainage essential.

This scheme operates in sub-catchments: Napier/ Meeanee/ Puketapu, Brookfields/ Awatoto, Pakowhai, Muddy Creek, Haumoana, Karamu, Twyford, Tuataekuri-Waimati and Te Puninga.

This Scheme has evolved over 130 years from the efforts of Local River Boards in the late 1800's to control highly mobile and flooding rivers, through the Hawke's Bay River Board and then the Hawke's Bay Catchment Board. Hawke's Bay Regional Council has had the responsibility for the work since 1989.

Improvements in the Scheme have followed significant earthquakes (1931), floods and specific catchment and asset reviews.

What does HBRC do?

We consult with landowners and the public on scheme reviews into policies, costs and levels of service.

We manage:

  • 155km of stopbank and deflection banks
  • 577km of river, stream and drainage channels
  • 287km of willow, poplar and native trees on the river banks – ‘live edge protection’ – to reduce erosion and slow flood waters
  • 196 structures including, culverts, floodgates, control gates, weirs, rock groynes and pipelines
  • 5 detention dams
  • 18 pump stations, 7 mobile pumps and 2 emergency generators
  • approx 760ha of land, including river berms and land underlying other Scheme assets.

The main issues now facing HBRC to manage this scheme and the rivers as an asset are -

  • Consistently reducing the flood risk to the Plains while minimising adverse impacts of flood management methods on the environment;
  • Sustainably managing the gravel within the river systems, and getting a better understanding of the impact that extraction has on gravel reaching the coast and our beaches.
  • Maintaining the flood capacity of the system in the face of climate change
  • Maintaining the value of the live edge protection and the stopbanks
  • Balancing landowner and ratepayer expectations, especially on cost, while consistently improving best practice for maintenance
  • Defining levels of service within each drainage catchment;
  • Co-management arrangements with iwi on Scheme policies and management.

Contact HBRC for a copy of the HPFCDS Asset Management Plan.

Upper Tukituki Flood Control Scheme

A rates equity review of this Scheme is currently underway (2016).

This scheme protects the river plains from frequent flooding of the Upper Tukituki River and its tributaries, the Waipawa, Makaretu, Mangaonuku and Tukipo Rivers.

The scheme protects approximately 24,750 hectares of productive farm land and around 5,000 people who live within the scheme boundaries including the urban centres of Waipawa and Waipukurau.

Although some flood protection was built in the 1950s, the Upper Tukituki scheme as we know it today was constructed during the late 1980s. Recent improvements in the scheme followed a 2008 review of asset performance.

What does HBRC do?

We consult with landowners and the public on scheme reviews into policies, costs, and levels of service.

We manage:

  • 77km of stopbanks
  • 205km of river, stream and drainage channels
  • 211km of willow, poplar and native trees on the river banks – ‘live edge protection’ – to reduce erosion and slow flood waters.  These are the most critical assets because they provide protection to large areas of productive land and significant parts of urban Waipawa and Waipukurau, and the consequence of their failure is high.
  • 37 structures including culverts and floodgates; 3 rock groynes; 213 deflection banks
  • approx 93ha of land, including river berms and land underlying other Scheme assets.

HBRC and the community have identified 5 key outcomes for the flood protection and drainage scheme:

  • Protection of life and communities
  • Sustainable use of land by reducing impacts and disruption from flood waters.
  • Protection and enhancement of ecology and water quality values
  • Sustainable management of river sediment (gravel, sand and silt) by beach raking and gravel extraction to maintain the flood carrying capacity of the river channels
  • Protection and enhancement of social and cultural values by providing for a wide range of amenity and recreation opportunities, and balancing conflicting uses and demands on river berm areas.

Contact HBRC for a copy of the UTFCS Asset Management Plan

Wairoa and Central & Southern Rivers and Streams Schemes

These two schemes look after river catchment maintenance to reduce the risk of flooding and help manage flooding in the Wairoa District and in the Central and Southern parts of the region.

The work includes flood forecasting and early warning, removal of unwanted vegetation from channels and banks, and the purchase of land adjacent to water ways where public ownership would be an advantage.

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