$15.5 million boost to Canterbury’s flood protection infrastructure
Canterbury will benefit from $15.5 million in central government funding for flood protection measures, keeping communities safer and boosting the region’s economy. The funding will be put towards six projects, which have a total combined value of $24.2 million.
The funding forms part of the $210 million for shovel-ready climate resilience and flood protection projects being delivered through $3 billion of infrastructure contingency set aside in Budget 2020.
Climate change preparedness
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the funding would help to stimulate regional economies and get people into work.
"There is no doubt climate change poses a real danger to our regions through extreme weather events, coastal inundation, and the associated problems such as erosion, flooding and the destruction of infrastructure,” he said.
“This has a negative impact on those regional economies and their productivity. It is imperative that we are providing our regions with the resources they need to protect against these issues.”
Benefits of flood protection funding
Our River Engineering Manager, Leigh Griffiths, is delighted by this funding announcement and excited to be able to progress six projects across Canterbury.
“Improving flood protection is a critical ‘first step’ climate change adaptation action," she said.
"This is a great example of where co-investment can truly benefit local communities and provide for current inhabitants and future generations for years to come.”
Funding of the projects offers a raft of benefits, including:
- the creation of jobs, leading to sustainable economic growth and recovery from the effects of COVID-19;
- encouragement of environmental sustainability;
- helping communities to build resilience against the effects of climate change by managing higher magnitude and more frequent flood events; and
- the protection of critical infrastructure.
Protecting Canterbury's braided rivers
Councillor John Sunckell commented on the importance of Canterbury’s braided rivers and the need to protect them, and those who live near them.
“Five of the projects are on Canterbury’s braided rivers, which are a taonga and highly valued by Ngāi Tahu. They are stunning landscape features, with high natural and cultural values," he said.
"This funding allows us to simultaneously care for braided rivers as the special places they are, while keeping our community safe with key infrastructure projects.”
Six projects to receive funding
The six projects that will be funded (subject to due diligence) are:
- Waiau Township – stopbank repairs and upgrades
- Ashley/Rakahuri - river protection and fairway management
- Waimakariri River - Kaiapoi community flood protection
- Halswell/Huritini - weed barrier replacement
- Rangitata River - flood recovery
- Region-wide planting and berm management project