$24 million investment in Canterbury flood protection works
Work is starting on a comprehensive three-year programme of investment for the Canterbury region, with a focus on flood protection.
The first project recently kicked off with the rock works now underway at McIntoshs bend in Kaiapoi.
Building climate change resilience in local communities
Environment Canterbury chair Jenny Hughey welcomed the central government funding as a crucial tool for building community resilience.
"This programme builds on the extensive flood protection assets already in place in Canterbury and provides an opportunity to advance the ability of local communities to adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate."
Central government co-investment a boost for local ratepayers
Partially funded from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Provincial Development Unit (PDU) the McIntoshs bend rock works are a flood protection and climate change resilience priority for Kaiapoi and the Waimakariri district.
Funding from the Climate Resilience Programme of Flood Risk Management Projects has significantly reduced local community cost and helped kick-start projects that would have otherwise taken decades to fund through current rating districts.
The cost estimate for this project is $3.2 million, supported by a 64 per cent grant in a co-funding arrangement between the PDU and Environment Canterbury.
Supporting local employment
According to Warren Gilbertson of MBIE, the Climate Resilience Programme has a strong dual purpose of flood protection and economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A key goal of this programme is employment – both creation of jobs as well as retaining jobs; keeping people in paid work. We’re really pleased to see about 14 local people employed on these contract works. It’s a real boost for Kaiapoi, supporting the local economy and helping to keep the community strong," Gilbertson said.
In an additional boost for the area, Waimakariri District Council is also the recipient of separate funding from the PDU’s Climate Resilience Programme. Waimakariri District councillor Niki Mealings said this funding showed how important the Council’s own works were for the local area.
"After the last big flood event in 2014 the Council identified drainage as a real issue, so we are constructing pump stations and upgrading stormwater infrastructure to reduce the impact of flooding in big storm events. Those works are well underway and on track to be completed this year.
"It really is a win-win situation as not only were we able to bring critical works forward we are able to use local labour, creating about 40 jobs for local tradespeople," Mealings said.