Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has completed a significant stopbank upgrade in Taradale to protect local communities and prepare the region for climate change as part of its Resilient River Community project.
Resilient River Communities is a joint initiative between the Government’s Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, regional councils and unitary authorities over three years to promote vital flood protection projects to help reduce the impacts from heavy rainfall events.
Kānoa is funding $12.8 million of the project, with the Regional Council contributing an additional $7.2 million.
Regional Council Chair, Hinewai Ormsby said expertly engineered stopbanks were critical in building community resilience to adapt to the increased magnitude and frequency of flood events due to climate change.
“Climate change will bring more intense flooding. Infrastructure investments like these are key in councils’ response to these increasing challenges,” she said.
“It’s fantastic to see the Taradale stop bank strengthened, with an increased height and weight.
Stopbanks are compacted earth banks built next to rivers to hold flood water in the berm and protect communities during flood events. Taradale is one of many upgrades happening across the Heretaunga Plains, which is home to over 80% of Hawke’s Bays population.
“Further work to reinstate the berm in Taradale is planned for 2023 which will include native planting to encourage and enhance biodiversity,” said Ms Ormsby.
A car park is also planned to allow the community better access to one of Hawke’s Bays most popular swimming spots along the Tūtaekurī.
Council says collaborating with iwi partners and local businesses has been key to the project, working closely with Ngāti Pārau who established Te Wai Mauri Limited. Te Wai Mauri Limited is a hapū led and owned business, established at Waiohiki Marae. The Regional Council will continue to work closely with Te Wai Mauri Limited on the planting programme in the Tūtaekurī berm area next winter.
Future planned works include stopbank upgrades at Moteo, Ngatarawa, Ōmarunui and East Clive.