New river management for Ruapehu District on hold until 2019

With the recent adoption of Horizons Regional Council’s Long-term Plan (LTP), river management changes for the Ruapehu district will now get underway in 2019.

Horizons councillor for the Ruapehu Bruce Rollinson says consultation for a new scheme in Ohakune, and one for the entire district, stated the works would begin this year however that is no longer the case. 
“We had proposed to start these works in Year 1 of the LTP, which we consulted on and listened to the community about during the submission period,” he says.
“However, taking into account the rating impact of the re-evaluation of property capital values in the district we have decided to hold off until Year 2 so that we do not burden ratepayers too much.”
Cr Rollinson says both schemes will also take a staged approach to allow for adjustment and further consultation.
“For Ohakune we will start with a targeted rate to initially focus on channel and flood debris management. Once completed, this will represent an improvement, however may not be a complete solution, to the flood hazard posed to Ohakune.
“Following completion of this first stage of works, we intend to consult with the community on options for undertaking a range of infrastructure improvements that will, over time, provide a higher standard of flood protection.”
For the new district-wide scheme, the operating budget will start at $80,000 in Year 2 and reach the full budget of $160,000 in Year 3.
“Once again this is to reduce the impact on our ratepayers. The scheme will also follow the 80/20 model with 80 per cent of the operating cost coming from targeted rates across the Ruapehu district, and the balance obtained from the wider Horizons Region’s ratepayersorizons.”
“This scheme will improve efficiency for managing flood risk proactively rather than reactively. It will also slot in with other river enhancement work and identify ways in which communities can be more connected with their rivers and streams,” says Cr Rollinson.
For further information about the Ohakune or district-wide scheme, please see Horizons’ 2018-28 Long-term Plan soon to be available at 

More information:
Ohakune has a known history of flooding and the scheme will initially address long-standing channel management issues through the town. Previous technical work assessing flood hazard areas not currently within the extents of operative river management schemes identified the town of Ohakune as the region’s highest priority. Recent floods have had significant impacts on the town and there is currently no community-wide approach to flood hazard mitigation.