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Leading flood and river resilience

Last updated: 24 May 2024
Reporting frequency: Quarterly
Portfolio: Climate change and community resilience

We are reducing river flood risk to people and property through building and maintaining high quality flood protection, land drainage and erosion control infrastructure, while managing associated land.

Between 2021 and 2023 more than $24 million will be spent in Waitaha/Canterbury on a programme of flood protection projects thanks to central government’s climate resilience fund and local funding. These projects are part of the Resilient River Communities programme which will see 55 projects completed nationwide by 2023 with a total of $312 million spent.

Another significant focus for this programme is flood recovery from the May 2021 flooding event, which was an unprecedented weather event with both long and intense periods of rainfall. The effects were felt from the Waimakariri District through to the Mackenzie. In the Ashburton River/Hakatere catchment area the weather event was of a magnitude greater than everywhere else in the region.

This work also includes:

  • Management of flood protection and drainage infrastructure assets across 59 schemes within the Canterbury region.
  • Providing flood alerts and flood management.
  • River and coastal surveying.
  • Ensuring appropriate authorisations and permissions are granted for activities impacting Canterbury’s rivers and our assets.
  • Fluvial gravel management.
  • Management of forestry and land owned by us.

How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?

Level of Service 26: Maintain flood protection and drainage infrastructure to agreed standards while considering broader outcomes.

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

26.1: Manage flood protection and drainage infrastructure in accordance with Asset Management Plans and desired broader community outcomes

    • a) Commence implementation of a regional river strategy to identify opportunities to manage rivers for a range of values
    • b) Publish an annual report on scheme condition, for all schemes in accordance with relevant Asset Management

How are we doing: This work is being delivered in alignment with Braided River Revival WhakahaumanuNgā Awa ā Pākihi. Work to publish an annual report on scheme condition is on track. 

On track
Level of Service 26: Maintain flood protection and drainage infrastructure to agreed standards, while considering broader outcomes.

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

26.2: Complete scheme reviews with relevant landowners, Papatipu Rūnanga and the community.

How are we doing: This target has changed from being ‘on track’ to ‘will not achieve’ by the end of the financial year (June 2024). Focus has been on progressing modelling for the Ashley/Rakahuri scheme review, with some work on the Selwyn/Waikirikiri. However, a short-term lack of capacity is having a significant impact on further progress of scheme reviews. Recruitment is currently underway to fill several river engineer positions:

Will not achieve
Level of Service 26: Maintain flood protection and drainage infrastructure to agreed standards, while considering broader outcomes.

To achieve this Level of Service we will: 

26.3:  Undertake extraction in accordance with the Regional Gravel Management Strategy. 

How are we doing: Extraction is being undertaken in accordance with the Regional Gravel Management Strategy (2012). The planned review of the 2012 strategy was not completed last year (the 2022/23 target for this level of service), so the 2012 strategy remains in force. Progress on reviewing the Gravel Management Strategy is reported below as a key initiative.

On track
Level of Service 27: Provide flood alerts and warning when trigger levels are exceeded.

To achieve this Level of Service we will respond to exceedance of trigger levels and communicate warnings and alert via the website.

How are we doing: Current alerts are prominently displayed on our website and we are on track to achieve this target.

On track

How are we doing on our key initiatives?

Gravel Management Strategy

How are we doing: Staff are currently exploring opportunities to develop this work within the context of the wider river related conversations in our review of the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) and the regional planning framework for Waitaha. We continue to engage with our partners on the drafting of the updated Gravel Management Strategy.

On track
Ministry for the Environment funded Nature Based Solutions projects

How are we doing: The total funding received by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) is $360K for three two-year projects:  

  • Room for the river – case study of implementation 
  • Coastal flood mitigation through protection and restoration of coastal freshwater and brackish wetlands 
  • Mātauranga Māori – Waitaha flood protection.

In quarter three, project plans for each of the three projects were successfully submitted and accepted by MfE. We continued to engage with our rūnanga partners to finalise the scope of each project. Detailed planning for procurement has commenced. 

On track
2021 flood recovery programme

How are we doing: Good progress has been made towards completing work at the remaining 2021 flood damage repair sites. At the end of quarter two, 86 per cent of sites were complete. 

In quarter three, work has continued as planned. Claims to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were completed to an agreed value of $1.51M. Update Report 8 was completed and is available to read.

On track
Climate Resilience Programme COVID-19 recovery fund

How are we doing: The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment-Kānoa has approved a variation to extend the programme to the end of April. All but one of the projects were completed by the end of December 2023. 

In quarter three, closure reports were submitted to MBIE-Kānoa for the five recently completed projects.

On track

Recent highlights and updates

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