Waitara is more secure following the Taranaki Regional Council’s $3.4 million investment to increase the town’s flood protection.
The three-year upgrade, finished on time and within budget, is designed to withstand the high and fast-moving flows of a one-in-100-year Waitara River flood, up from the old safeguard that only provided a one-in-30-year protection, according to TRC.
As well as upgrading flood defenses, the amenities along the river front have been greatly enhanced.
The Waitara flood protection project included:
- Raising the protection structures by up to 1.5 meters along the length of the scheme;
- Upgrading 3.5 kilometers of stopbanks;
- Construction of 450 meters of reinforced concrete flood wall;
- Construction of 800 meters of gabion basket flood wall (wire cages filled with rocks and sprayed with concrete);
- Two kilometers of walkway beside the river from Toohill Park down to Marine Park;
- Landscaping of walkways and stopbanks.
The $3.4 million upgrade was financed by existing Council funds. These funds will be repaid over the next 30 years (to reflect the long-term benefit of the assets) by ratepayers in the New Plymouth and North Taranaki constituencies through a targeted rate. The rate will also fund ongoing maintenance of the scheme.
Key parties, including Methanex NZ, ANZCO and New Plymouth District Council, have also made significant investment.