Plantings and structures outside property boundaries have prompted the need for remediation works along the Whakatāne River stopbank.
Construction work is finishing up on the first stage of a project focused on safeguarding the stopbank to ensure it continues to function the way it should for generations to come.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Engineering project manager Paula Chapman says the council has a responsibility to ensure assets – like stopbanks – are resilient and will keep communities safe in a significant flooding event.
“This means Council is constantly reviewing the town’s flood protection assets and looking at ways to protect them as we know some activities and practices can be detrimental to our stopbanks.
“Over the years people have built structures and planted trees outside their boundaries and as time’s gone on these non-approved structures and different types of vegetation have gradually advanced or encroached beyond where they should have.
“Along the Whakatāne stopbank we’re now at a point where some encroachments could compromise the stopbank so removing these needs to happen.”
The first stage of works is being done upstream of the Landing Road Bridge and will continue over the next month.
The council will reduce physical work over the winter period, but will continue to investigate other areas along the stopbank which will need remediation work later in the year.
The project is spread across the next two to three years and the council will work with those residents directly affected by the works.
Toi Moana is also reminding residents to check with Regional Council first if they’re wanting to do any work near the stopbank, as people will need to consider whether a Bylaw Authority is needed.
This authority is written permission from the council, with certain conditions attached to it, that outlines what a landowner must do to ensure the flood protection structure is not damaged or compromised.