Community led river plan adopted by Greater Wellington

Greater Wellington and the Greytown community celebrated a milestone today after the Waiōhine River Plan was adopted by council today.

Its adoption is the result of two separate community consultations with the latter coming during the pandemic, a revocation of an earlier plan and a further adaption to the final revision to accommodate new climate change considerations.

These comprehensive inputs and numerous renditions mean the plan is more detailed than a ‘conventional’ flood management plan which Adrienne Staples, Chair of Waiōhine River Plan Steering Group describes as a real win for those involved.

“It is a significant moment for all involved in the project but particularly for the Waiōhine Action Group (made up of locals from the Greytown community), Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangitāne o Wairarapa who supported the plan with their input and championed the consultation.

“The consultation and 189 submissions highlighted a huge motivation from individuals and provided us an opportunity to make this plan a real collaborative effort.

“With community led approaches, there are naturally more challenges, but it’s testament to all involved, notably, the passionate commitment from the project team, consisting of local Iwi, several action group members and support from Greater Wellington’s Flood Protection department that enabled the delivery of this robust, living plan.

“As a Wairarapa local, the living element of the plan, whereby it will be adapted to provide protection for future generations, is very pleasing, added Cr. Staples.  

“For a local taonga, with its swimming hole a summer attraction and important community resource, this further bolsters it’s importance”.

“The Waiōhine” will provide direction to Greater Wellington in managing the flood and erosion hazards from the Waiōhine River. It sets out an evaluated set of options to mitigate the flood risk and manage the river.

Flood and river risk management activities undertaken in the catchment will also be informed by the plan.

Greater Wellington Flood Protection Manager, Graeme Campbell said, “This includes structural works, such as stopbanks and rock groynes, along with non-structural works such as considerations for emergency management, flood hazard mapping, planning recommendations, operational and maintenance works.

“Endorsement of the plan is timely following several significant flood events around New Zealand and the burgeoning stress of flood protection infrastructure competing with climate driven rainfall. It’s plans like these and the resulting works in Waiōhine that are not only welcomed but necessary”.

The full plan will be published on the Greater Wellington website.

Updated April 7, 2022 at 12:23 PM

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