Councillors tour Hutt Valley with a focus on flood protection
A Metlink bus load of councillors from three different councils took a tour around the Hutt Valley yesterday, getting a snapshot of the significant Regional Resilience Flood Protection work being done in the area.
Councillors from Upper Hutt City Council, Hutt City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council took a look at the work being carried out within the catchment of Te Awa Kairangi Hutt River to manage flood risks for the communities of Hutt City and Upper Hutt City.
Greater Wellington Councillor Prue Lamason says the tour was a great opportunity to showcase the breadth of work undertaken by Greater Wellington to deliver Regional Resilience through flood protection, and how this work can be shaped to support freshwater quality and biodiversity outcomes.
This was a chance for us to talk about the huge programme of work being carried out to enhance flood protection from Kennedy Good Bridge to Ewan Bridge, which includes the very vulnerable section of Hutt Citys Central Business District, Cr Lamason says.
Along the way, councillors got the chance to visit Melling to discuss the Riverlink project, Belmont Wetland to discuss freshwater quality and biodiversity issues, Silverstream to find out more about the Pinehaven floodplain management plan, and Taita and Pomare to see the challenges with erosion and gravel management as well as improvements being made to the very popular Hutt River walking and cycling trail.
We discussed the collaborative approach to addressing freshwater quality and biodiversity between Greater Wellington, Hutt City Council and NZ Transport Agency, as well as our commitment to regional resilience.
I think the highlight for most of us was the visit to Belmont Stormwater Treatment Wetland because it was a good opportunity to see how councils, schools, iwi and community groups could come together.
We saw first-hand the hard work by the Belmont Community Stream Group and the School students who were involved with the planting, how the wetland designed by the councils and iwi was being developed, and how it will work to help the river health and fix fish passage problems back into the Belmont Hills, Cr Lamason says.
At the Riverlink stop Hutt City Council Mayor Campbell Barry spoke about how the RiverLink partnership, which included Greater Wellingtons flood works and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agencys Melling transport improvements, give Hutt City the opportunity to rejuvenate the Central Business District and better connect Hutt City communities with their river.
Cr Lamason says RiverLink includes the new Melling interchange and road bridge, and moving Melling station south from its present location and ultimately, with a new pedestrian and cycling bridge connecting the new station to Margaret Street.
In addition to the flood protection improvements, we will be taking the opportunity to develop more of a river park, through the reach from Melling to Ewen Bridges, putting the river at the heart of Hutt City.
It was fantastic to discuss how we, along with mana whenua partners, are all collaboratively tackling the impacts of climate change and keeping regional resilience and freshwater quality at the forefront of our decision-making, Cr Lamason says.
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