Northland gets $4m to prevent future flood risk

Kaipara's Kaihu River, north of Dargaville, flooded during Cyclone Gabrielle.

Kaipara’s Kaihu River, north of Dargaville, flooded during Cyclone Gabrielle.
Photo: Kaipara District Council / Supplied

Northland is set to receive an additional $4 million towards flood resilience projects, a year since Cyclone Gabrielle battered the area.

The region is dealing with a billion-dollar cyclone hit, and it will require the biggest recovery yet.

The estimated cost comes from the combined impact of half a billion dollars needed to rebuild Northland infrastructure, and roughly the same amount needed for the region’s economy.

Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell said the money would increase resilience and mitigate future flood risk.

“Northland’s Wairoa River catchment, and its various tributaries, contributed to flooding in and around Dargaville.

“The government is supporting three projects with the Kaipara District Council to reduce future flood risk in these areas.”

The projects included the Awakino river mouth cleaning, the installation of a culvert on Beach Road, and an upgrade in the existing stopbanks on the Wairoa River, costing just over a million dollars.

Mitchell said the projects would reduce the risk of future flooding for Dargaville and Ruawai communities impacted by the severe weather last year.

“Increasing the size of the culvert at Beach Road, upgrading the Murphy Bower stopbank near Ruawai and cleaning up the lower riverbanks and removing silt from the Awakino river mouth, where it meets the Wairoa River, will ensure improved water flow in high rain events.”

The other $3m from the fund would support a fourth project with the Whangārei District Council, Mitchell said.

“[This is] to reduce future flooding in the low-lying suburb of Morningside. Funding will be provided for new infrastructure including a drain, water storage and pump.”

The four projects were in addition to the nearly $8.9m allocated to seven other projects last year, taking the government’s contribution to Northland’s flood resilience total to more than $12.9m, Mitchell said.

“We need to learn so we can make changes to reduce the impacts of future weather events.

“These projects are great examples of making changes that build future resilience.”

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