The region is protected with two multimillion-dollar flood control schemes, a number of smaller ones and a region-wide river level and flood monitoring and warning system operated by the Council.
Both the major schemes – at the lower Waiwhakaiho River in New Plymouth and the lower Waitara River in Waitara township – have undergone significant upgrades in recent years and offer ‘one in 100-year’ protection incorporating allowance for climate change.
The Council also has flood control schemes for the Stony (Hangatahua) River and, in partnership with the South Taranaki District Council, Opunake and the Waitōtara River. There are also a number of small rural flood control and drainage schemes across the region, and under delegation from the Taranaki Regional Council, the New Plymouth District Council owns and operates flood detention works on the Huatoki Stream and Mangaotuku Stream, providing flood protection for central New Plymouth.
The Taranaki Regional Council provides flood warnings and flood control advice, and also carries out minor works to reduce flood damage.
Rainfall, river levels and/or wind speed and direction are measured at selected sites throughout the region. The data is automatically transmitted to the computer system at the Stratford office. During flood events remote stations can be individually interrogated to provide immediate information. The flood management system enables staff to provide flood warnings and information to emergency services, road authorities, district councils or affected property owners.
Landowners wanting to carry out work in rivers or streams are strongly urged to check first with Taranaki Regional Council river engineering staff, who can provide free guidance.
The work might be installation of culverts, fords or bridges, erosion control, gravel extraction, minor stream modifications and diversions, or piping. The Council’s river engineering staff can offer guidance on:
- Whether the planned work is robust enough to handle large floods – thus protecting the land owner’s property and business.
- Whether it will have minimal impact on the stream – thus protecting the environment.
Some work can be undertaken in Taranaki streams without the need for a resource consent, provided specific conditions are met. The Council’s engineering staff can provide guidance to help land owners ensure their projects can meet all of the requirements.
When the Council’s specific written guidance is followed by the landowner, rivers engineering staff can authorise some activities that might otherwise a require resource. This saves the land owner time and money.
Seeking free guidance from the Council gives you an opportunity to ensure that your project will pass the test of time (and large floods), and can give you confidence that your project complies with Regional Fresh Water Plan rules and that the environment is protected. And it may well save you time and money.