Waitarakao Washdyke Lagoon pipe capping

The Waitarakao Washdyke pipes are an outlet for schemes that we manage. Remediation works were completed in March 2023. The pipes were at risk of being damaged if water overtopped the bank during hide tide or significant weather events.

For this project, we secured the pipes with concrete to prevent damage during these events. The work also significantly reduced the flooding risk to the nearby walking track, public area, and adjacent banks.

An area of multiple values

The structure is located on a reef of high mahinga kai value for mana whenua.

This area is used by the wider community for fishing and recreational purposes. In addition to the physical structure remediation, the project will enhance the biodiversity and recreational values of the site.

Climate change impacts, including rising sea levels, mean the coast is gradually moving inland, increasing the likelihood of coastal inundation.

Five years ago, we extended the pipes inland and will now reinforce the structure to ensure all the values are properly protected.

Works completed

The purpose of the works was to cap the Washdyke pipes with concrete to secure them and prevent them from floating if water overtops the current bank in the case of a high tide or a significant weather event. Additional enhancements and planting of two sites were also included in the scope.  

Replacement of the inlet grate that is connected to the pipes was completed in December 2023, marking the completion of the overall project.

Waitarakao Lagoon catchment

The Waitarakao Lagoon catchment contains regionally significant industry, critical infrastructure, two designated mātaitai areas, a wildlife refuge, environmental and recreational opportunities.

The catchment has a long history of cultural use and represents one of the few remaining coastal environments of its type in Aotearoa.

It is changing rapidly under significant pressure from coastal erosion and inundation, climate change and sea level rise.

In 2016, following a mandate from our then commissioners and Timaru District Council, a working group was formed.

The group includes representatives of Arowhenua Rūnanga, Department of Conservation, Timaru District Council, the Ōrari Temuka Ōpihi Pareora Zone Committee and us.

This forum responds to issues and progresses collaborative and integrated initiatives that move towards the protection and enhancement of cultural, social, economic and environmental aspects of the Waitarakao/Washdyke environment for the benefit of the community.