River protection upgrades underway behind the scenes

Horizons Regional Council upgrades to flood protection in the lower Manawatū are ticking along steadily behind the scenes.

The upgrades consist of raising stopbanks on the Oroua River from Feilding to Arahuri, the Mangaore, Kara and Mangapuketea Streams near Shannon, the Tokomaru River, Linton Main Drain, and the main stem of the Manawatū River near Moutoa. Once completed properties in the area will receive protection from a 1 in 100 year flood, which has a 1 per cent chance of happening in any given year.
Horizons group manager river management Ramon Strong says its likely most rate payers are unaware of the upgrades happening.
“These upgrades help strengthen the level of flood protection for the Lower Manawatū Scheme (LMS) and are part of a substantial programme of work underway since the 2004 floods,” he says.
“The work was approved in 2006 and the entire Lower Manawatū Scheme upgrade project is worth approximately $40 million.”
Over the course of last summer Horizons’ contractors moved more than 200,000 cubic metres of earth, which is enough to cover The Square in Palmerston North to a depth of over 5m. A further 150,000 cubic metres is scheduled to be moved next summer.
The upgrades are part of a 12 year rural upgrade project following the February 2004 flood event that exposed many deficits in the level of protection of LMS assets.  Subsequent investigations and design calculations identified 147 sites requiring work to bring the assets up to the required 1 in 100 year flood level of protection.