Waipaoa next focus

Flood control scheme No.1 in importance

Flood control scheme No.1 in importance

The Waipaoa River. File picture

THE $16 million Waipaoa River Flood Control Scheme will be the major project of Gisborne District Council’s present 10-year plan, says GDC chief executive Judy Campbell.

The timeframe for the project, which is designed to improve flood protection of the Flats, has been condensed from an original 12 years to seven.

Mrs Campbell said she had made it clear to project management staff that “the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme is the council’s No.1 project in terms of its focus, as I understood the discussions around the 10-year plan”.

“It is our single largest capital expenditure in the senior projects. We are looking for a senior project manager to drive it.”

There was a whole stage of land purchasing involved, so community buy-in was very important.

“This year is about setting the project up, getting together the scope, putting the staff together and funding it from next year onwards.”

It was originally planned to extend over 12 years into the next 10-year plan but she had been told the whole network had to be done to make it effective, so that would now kick in at seven years.

Total budget for the scheme upgrade is $16 million, with $210,000 due to be spent this financial year.

The improvements include increasing the flood banks to be four metres wide with a 600mm freeboard which is above a 100-year flood level.

Huge earthworks

During the work, more than 750,000 cubic metres of earth will be moved (equivalent to 300 Olympic pools).

Environmental and regulatory services group manager Kevin Strongman said Hawke’s Bay Regional Council had taken a lead on the engineering component of the Waipaoa scheme and had seconded a project manager for the interim.

GDC was not doing nothing while it waited to appoint a project manager.

The HB Regional Council would be involved throughout. It had history on the scheme, having done all the hydraulics over the past few years.

Mrs Campbell said HB Regional Council was being used because hydrology was a specialist skill and the Gisborne council would not be able to attract or give enough work to a person to keep skills sharp.

Hawke’s Bay would provide the hydraulic and engineering skill. GDC was looking for a project manager who had the kind of river experience needed. The role could also extend to the Makauri aquifer recharge project.

The original Waipaoa River control scheme was designed by Gisborne engineer Doug Todd for the Poverty Bay Catchment Board in 1949, immediately after the disastrous 1948 flood.

It involved three major deviations and took 25 years to complete.

The Waipaoa scheme was designed to cope with a 100-year frequency flood and had its greatest test during Cyclone Bola in 1988. Originally considered a 100-year flood, Bola was later reclassified as a 70-year flood.

THE $16 million Waipaoa River Flood Control Scheme will be the major project of Gisborne District Council’s present 10-year plan, says GDC chief executive Judy Campbell.

The timeframe for the project, which is designed to improve flood protection of the Flats, has been condensed from an original 12 years to seven.

Mrs Campbell said she had made it clear to project management staff that “the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme is the council’s No.1 project in terms of its focus, as I understood the discussions around the 10-year plan”.

“It is our single largest capital expenditure in the senior projects. We are looking for a senior project manager to drive it.”

There was a whole stage of land purchasing involved, so community buy-in was very important.

“This year is about setting the project up, getting together the scope, putting the staff together and funding it from next year onwards.”

It was originally planned to extend over 12 years into the next 10-year plan but she had been told the whole network had to be done to make it effective, so that would now kick in at seven years.

Total budget for the scheme upgrade is $16 million, with $210,000 due to be spent this financial year.

The improvements include increasing the flood banks to be four metres wide with a 600mm freeboard which is above a 100-year flood level.

Huge earthworks

During the work, more than 750,000 cubic metres of earth will be moved (equivalent to 300 Olympic pools).

Environmental and regulatory services group manager Kevin Strongman said Hawke’s Bay Regional Council had taken a lead on the engineering component of the Waipaoa scheme and had seconded a project manager for the interim.

GDC was not doing nothing while it waited to appoint a project manager.

The HB Regional Council would be involved throughout. It had history on the scheme, having done all the hydraulics over the past few years.

Mrs Campbell said HB Regional Council was being used because hydrology was a specialist skill and the Gisborne council would not be able to attract or give enough work to a person to keep skills sharp.

Hawke’s Bay would provide the hydraulic and engineering skill. GDC was looking for a project manager who had the kind of river experience needed. The role could also extend to the Makauri aquifer recharge project.

The original Waipaoa River control scheme was designed by Gisborne engineer Doug Todd for the Poverty Bay Catchment Board in 1949, immediately after the disastrous 1948 flood.

It involved three major deviations and took 25 years to complete.

The Waipaoa scheme was designed to cope with a 100-year frequency flood and had its greatest test during Cyclone Bola in 1988. Originally considered a 100-year flood, Bola was later reclassified as a 70-year flood.

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