52 days ago

Doubts over new water authority responding to post-flood stormwater issues

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Northern Outlook

From local democracy reporter Adam Burns:

There are concerns from the Waimakariri District Council about a “local response” to increasing weather events once the management of Three Waters is handed over.

An increase of flood and extreme weather events has hit the council’s resources hard in recent times due to the subsequent impact on local water infrastructure.

But there are suggestions response times to issues will leave the community even more exposed, after management of local infrastructure is absorbed by one of the four regional water entities as part of the Three Waters reforms.

At last week’s council meeting, councillor Niki Mealings asked what impact the reforms could have for a prompt response to post-event problems, following ongoing issues with roading and stormwater due to the floods.

Council senior engineering advisor Don Young told Mealings it was a matter of concern regarding the impending reforms.

“If rural drainage does go over to the entities, that’s going to be a significant interface issue.”

He said greater clarity was required regarding who would have delegations for both rural and urban networks.

An asset management operations and stormwater working group had been set up by the Government to investigate these issues, Young said.

“It's hugely challenging and complex.”

Councillor Philip Redmond also expressed doubts over how nimble a new authority would be responding to stormwater issues stemming from future events.

“Although I think we’re moving slowly, I think it would be even slower under a new regime,” he said.

“A local response is very important.”

There was an acknowledgement from some elected representatives of rain events and flooding becoming more commonplace due to the impact of climate change.

The council's roading team is currently stretched thin and admits it's struggling to contend with the volume of service requests.

During February's flood event, the unsealed roads around the foothills suffered scour, washouts and gravel loss.

Rainfall events and wind storms over the past 12 months have resulted in a surge of service requests for council’s roading team.

More than 5500 service requests were recorded in the 2021 calendar year, more than double what was reported in the previous year.

“Currently resources are struggling to keep up with the current volume of service requests and to manage the backlog.

“As such, extra resource will be required to continue to manage the higher demand and provide timely responses to our community.”

More than 900 service requests throughout the district were recorded between January and March.

A programme of repairs has been developed and is being delivered to address these roads.

A total of $730,000 of unbudgeted costs were approved by the council last week to fund ongoing recovery from the February flood event.

The bulk of these costs are to replace a culvert on Butchers Rd, which failed during the February 12 floods.

*Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

More messages from your neighbours
22 days ago

Rangiora Players: The Invisible Man . We are looking for some props.

Mark from Rangiora

Rangiora Players are looking for some props for their next production.

We are looking for some props and wonder if anyone out there may be able to help?

The most unusual one we are trying to borrow is a standing Male mannequin.
It will not be hurt during the production and will stand centre stage!.
We are also looking for a galvanised rubbish bin and rocking chair, of the Granny Clampett style.

12 days ago

Is your broadband bill about to increase? Don't throw money away.

NZ Compare

Spark have recently announced a price increase of $3 - $5 a month for new and existing broadband customers and other providers seem likely to follow suit.

Information collated by our research team has found that tens of thousands of Kiwis are still missing out on hundreds of dollars of savings each year on their broadband bill, because they are failing to shop around for cheaper broadband plans.

We estimate that over 500,000 households would be able to pay less for their broadband each month but many consumers are unaware of the fact that they could be making these savings and people often don’t know where to start when looking for a change in broadband plan or provider.

This is where NZ Compare can help. Our websites are simple to use and if you need more help, our friendly, Auckland based, customer support centre can advise on the most suitable broadband plan for your needs and help talk you through the switch. With unlimited fibre broadband plans available for less than $60 a month why would you pay more?

Find out more at NZ Compare or call the team on 0508 226672

CORRECTION: This post has been amended to clarify that the price of fibre and copper broadband internet services will increase, and that the increase is between $3 and $5 a month, not only $5 a month on fibre broadband plans as previously posted. (Amended at 10.31am, June 23, 2022)

1 day ago

Family Friendly Service and Discussion

Jeneane Hobby from Ashley Community Church Incorporated

Paul and Lesley Askin hold their next family-friendly monthly service on Sunday, 7 August, at the Ashley Community Church from 4.30 pm. Dress warmly and bring a finger food contribution for shared tea afterwards. Masks are encouraged. Remember to go before you come as there are no toilet facilities
Enquiries to Paul or Lesley, Ph 021 140 2074
39 Canterbury St, Ashley. .