Posted: 28 April 2005
Major overhaul looms for Awanui Flood Scheme
Far North residents are being asked to pay for a major overhaul of the 100-year-old scheme that protects Kaitaia and surrounding farmland from flooding.
Northland Regional Council River Management Officer Glen McIntosh says the Regional Council has been asked to take over the Awanui River Flood Management Scheme from 1 July this year.
He says the 40,000-hectare scheme is one of the biggest in Northland but needs significant repairs if it is to continue to protect Kaitaia and much of its surrounding farmland from flooding.
“Work needed includes removing trees and debris and clearing silted channels, reshaping channels and upgrading or replacing floodgates and pipes that have fallen into disrepair.”
The Regional Council is also proposing to install new stock bridges across the Whangatane Spillway to ease flooding problems that currently see floodwaters divide some dairy farms.
Mr McIntosh says Regional Council investigations have shown that about $1.6 million will need to be borrowed and spent over the next several years to restore the scheme to its original design.
“Additionally, the Regional Council estimates another $100,000 will need to be spent annually to maintain the scheme’s channels, stopbanks and floodgates.”
Mr McIntosh says to fund both the loan repayment and ongoing maintenance work, the Regional Council is proposing to collect about $561,000 in targeted rates during the 2005-06 financial year from the approximately 5000 properties that make up the Awanui Scheme catchment.
Property owners will be rated under one of several classes, depending on how their property benefits from the scheme.
Mr McIntosh says over the next few days the Regional Council will send letters to all of the affected property owners, advising them of the proposed rates and providing them with individual estimates of their special levy total.
A meeting with affected property owners is also planned for the Far North Community Centre in Kaitaia on Tuesday May 10 at 7pm.
Mr McIntosh says information about the scheme is available from the Regional Council’s Kaitaia office. Copies of the Plans and submission forms can also be downloaded from the NRC’s website, www.nrc.govt.nz or a copy can be requested by calling (0800) 002 004.
Property owners wanting to comment on the scheme can make submissions through the NRC’s Draft Annual Plan process. The deadline for submissions is 3pm on May 31.