Feedback from Workshop Four - Saturday 22nd Febraury 2014 (Afternoon Session)

almost 6 years ago

Workshop Four – Saturday 22nd February 2014: Facilitated by Derek Mills (Afternoon Session)

Following welcome comments Derek Mills (member of the Waihi Beach Community Board) opened the meeting.  Workshop participants were each invited to talk about their experience of flooding at Waihi Beach.

Rob – spoke about the April event.  He experienced significant damage the banks of 2 Mile Creek which are the boundary to his commercial property.  Rob travelled toward the tennis club at Pohutukawa Park and saw water gushing out onto the roads.  Rob’s sister in Wilson Road experienced severe flooding.  When he went to drive to her house he was unable to get past the pub so had to go down Dillon Street.  At Rob’s sister’s home the fire brigade were unable to do anything.  The rain started to recede at around 11:30pm.  It was quite a frightening experience – what if it had continued raining and if it had been high tide?  Rob also talked about the maintenance contract with levels of service being miniscule or non existent.  He has raised this issue with Council numerous times with no effect.  Wilson’s Farm needs to be the biggest fix using the wetland areas.  Investigations of upper catchments is a must and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council must be involved.

Anthony – from Walnut Ave.  The recent flood events were the highest level Anthony could recall.  It seems to be a creeping problem over the past 5 years with flood height advancing each time.  Anthony thinks if the trend carries on it will soon flood the inside of his house.  This trend has been occurring over the last 10 years.

Jennifer – from Walnut Ave.  In April the flood water came into Jennifer’s sleepout; approximately 1metre height.  This has been happening in the last 4 to 5 years and seems to be increasing in intensity.  So far the flood water hasn’t come into the house, just under the floorboards, but it turns the property into a lake.  In Jennifer’s opinion the cleared drains by Council prevented worse flooding.

John – from Pio Shores.  Says that the swales were working extremely well until Council put in pumping stations – “but that’s another story”.

Another Pio Shores resident agreed with John and noted that the water sits around for a long while.

Colleen – from Seaforth Road by Island View.  Wasn’t affected at all.

A resident from Pohutukawa Drive in Athenree experienced 280mm of flood water.  It takes two days to drain away because the water table is just below the surface.  No flooding into the house, just surface flooding.

Q:  Derek then asked everyone what they thought one thing was that Council could do to help reduce the flooding.

Anthony – For Walnut Ave – drainage needs to be improved.  Drainage upgrade in the late 1990’s wasn’t adequate.  What was recommended was not done for very practical reasons.  We are getting more rainfall because the drains aren’t up to the capacity needed.  A major stumbling block is the drains going under private property but investigations are required to see if fixing the drains is the answer.  Another option is to divert water down Broadlands and use a bund.

Jennifer – suggested a full independent review of the entire Waihi Beach by qualified engineer before anything is done.

John – how can residents hold a community hostage?  Should put it back to the way it was and clear the drain filled by people who don’t pay rates.  Issues are localised.  It’s not just a Waihi Beach issue and it’s not necessarily a ‘whole of Waihi Beach’ issue.  It’s hard for people at Pio Shores to accept they should be involved in other catchment issues.

Colleen – suggested greater maintenance.

One resident suggested that at Pohutukawa Drive some large nova flow trenches were needed to let flood water flow out into Adela Street drive.  This resident’s wife suggested finding out what other council’s are doing with stormwater issues.

Regarding The Crescent, a resident said that each catchment has different issues.  Look at what Watercare are doing in Auckland?

Waiti Ave – just needs more maintenance. 

Workshop attendees were then asked to write down on Post-it notes what issues were created for the community/property owners when it flooded:

Preventative actions/Education

  • Education about water management.
  • Get first level decision makers to visit all risky sites.


  • Maintenance by local Council to be more of a constant requirement.
  • Regular maintenance of drains including swales.
  • Managing the risk eg. cleaning catch pits and diverting water at first influx.
  • Problems with water flowing into harbour through Marae property.  Drains blocked.
  • Maintenance.
  • Need for far more regular drain checking / cleaning – Marae blockages.
  • Maintenance of current system.
  • Maintenance levels need major improvements.
  • Wallnutt Ave catchment – drainages not adequate to cope with the storm water volumes that are happening lately.  Think that stormwater capacity should be increased to cope with this.

Control Initial Source

  • Control from initial source of water -Through Bay of Plenty Regional Council – to local council.
  • Managing run-off from hills at rear of properties eg. by-pass water to Adela Stewart Drive.

Water Management

  • Lake level too high.
  • Upper catchment.

Regional Council

  • Engage with Regional Council.


  • Water flow across road (Seaforth) into reserve – no drainage.
  • Better capacity for stormwater on Maranui.  Less concrete in public and private places – roads, footpaths, driveways etc.
  • Check on soak holes on private properties that are affected, do they have them?  Some homes do not have spouting.
  • Lift sewerage and water lines in interim.


  • Vision – how can events like this be prevented?
  • Problems source/s to be determined.
  • Development that might lead to stormwater problems.  Development of housing areas on steep land should be halted until their impact on the community can be safely managed.
  • Divert some stormwater flow to Wallnutt catchment to Broadlands.  Ensure Broadlands capacity and manage out flow from there to the ocean.
  • Ensure dwellings are raised well above the land they are built on.
  • Regrettably buyer beware – how strongly are flood designated controls imposed to lessen risk.
  • Limit any further subdivisions in areas prone to flooding.
  • Poor stormwater planning in past – must now re-visit disposal of stormwater, soak holes won’t solve.
  • Concern that there has been a lack of drainage strategy and historical recommendations not followed.
  • Restrictions on all development until drainage solution provided.

Personal views

  • Stress and emotional harm from flooding.
  • Loss of enjoyment of bach and difficulties of access in future.
  • Even if bach is lifted, future flooding on section is unacceptable.


  • Cost – to all ratepayers.
  • Has to be value for money for all as only driver eg Pio’s charged 3 times for sewerage.
  • Rates already being high by NZ standards of Auckland – limit.
  • How is rates levy of $254 ratepayer being spent?
  • Financial cost of lifting bach.
  • Consider costs for general work – specific work – keep separate.
  • Cost.

Seek Expert Advice - External to Council

  • Full drainage solution to be recommended by independent professional drainage engineers
  • Have Council;s professional indemnity insurers been notified of circumstances arising that could give rise to claims regarding past acts of negligence concerning drainage decisions?
  • Independant investigation of the nature of the stormwater problem/cause/source/possible solutions.

Consultation has concluded