Feedback from Workshop Ten - Saturday 1 March 2014 (Afternoon Session)

over 5 years ago

Workshop Ten – Saturday 1st March 2014: Facilitated by Ruth Parsons (Afternoon Session)

Ruth opened the workshop by introducing herself as both a resident of Waihi Beach and a member of the community board.  Ruth invited Peter Mackay (Councillor for the Katikati/Waihi Beach Ward) to welcome everyone.  Following Peter’s welcome comments he reiterated that his role today was
to listen rather and provide clarification if necessary.  At this point Ruth outlined the workshop approach and went on to say that comments/stories would be captured and put up on the ‘have your way Western Bay’ website, together with feedback from earlier workshops.

Ruth then invited participants to introduce themselves and share their experience of flooding.

Arky – Has two properties at the north end of Dillon Street.  He has come to listen but has seen the flooding behind the camp ground.

Brian – from Hereford Place, has no problems at all with flooding.  Has firm views on what should happen.

Tysh – Lives in Athenree but her father owns property at the north end which suffers from flooding.

Kevin – Edinburgh Street, experiences a bit of flooding from time to time.

Merv – from Pio Shores.  Experiences flooding but it doesn’t come into house.

Les and Desma – From Hillview Road, backing onto Broadlands.  They commented that it takes a long time for water to go away.

Kerry and Jan – own property that has recently been included in the new flood zone Jan spoke about how rule changes had affected them.  In a 50 or 100 years will more of us be in it [the flood zone]?  Never know how high a flood is going to be.  At the beach, you’ve got water coming from storms and conflicting with tides.  You can’t pump water out when its high tide.  Properties that have been built in a low lying/flood plain you take the risk.  Camp ground right behind.  See them get evacuated.  Kerry and Jan recently built their house to a certain RL, which at the time complied with Council’s requirements.  Now the rules have changed and their dwelling is not high enough!

Peter and Janice Mair – from Brighton Road.  They have concerns regarding height levels (RL).  They bought their property as an investment; it’s now a ‘lemon’.

Mike Hickey – has been coming here since he was young.  Member of surf club.

Arky – asked Jan a question to explain RL position.  Jan clarified that rules have changed.  Arky said that while a lot of us are concerned, it just isn’t affecting us.

Kevin – Says there are two problems.  Water coming into area and the rate the water goes out.  Is there any way of controlling how much water comes in?  Are subdivisions and drainage from them appropriately handled?  Modelling that Council has done demonstrates that the water is coming from the hills. 
Can we slow water coming in or speed up its exit?  Two Mile Creek is effectively built on sand.  After last year’s flooding one property (on the banks of 2 Mile Creed) suffered so much erosion that it has now undermined the structural integrity of the house.  Emergency work was needed to stop it from
falling into drain.  Two Mile Creek has a major impact on the beach/dunes.  Effectively see them wash away in a flood.  Broadlands – is there some arrangement for it to be a staged ponding area?

Merv – Pio Shores.  Merv explained that he had a natural flood area behind his section but the neighbours decided to fill that in.  Now the water can’t flow away.  We can’t get our neighbour to recreate the natural flood area.  Residents need to be a bit more aware of what impact their actions have on neighbours.

Ruth – clarified the extent of the Waihi Beach Community Board area and that it encompasses Waihi Beach, Bowentown, Pio Shores, Athenree and
the hinterland so this is very much an issue for everyone.

Tysh – Council needs to take more responsibility for maintenance and acknowledge the impact of extra subdivisions.  Council needs to go look bigger (ie hotspots) fix problems before they start creating new things.  Tysh referred to the stormwater upgrade at Dalton Avenue and queried why this work was being done when there’s absolutely no flooding there!  Tysh believes this is hugely inefficient. Tysh’s dad is 89 and twice his property has been flooded downstairs with water up over her knees.  There are two stormwater drains in the vicinity, both clogged all of the time.  The drains are filled with sand so where’s the water suppose to go?  What are we paying for?  Council needs to prioritise a bit better.

Peter – Council came out and were very surprised at the condition of the drain.  They didn’t really know where the pipe was going.  Maintenance is
a big issue.  Is there a possibility for secondary water catchments?

Jan – We experience flash flooding, rather than slow build up.

Esme – Said we have to be mindful of the height of sections. The area behind Hillview has been developed in the last few years and a “crown” of dirt had built up.  This caused flooding issues.  If you put solid concrete drives everywhere then it creates a huge channel for water. Esme lives in an apartment and two neighbouring residents wanted to replace gravel drives with concrete.  We need to think about what material is chosen.

Brian – When you look at different areas of the beach, there are quite distinctly different issues. Brian spoke about Ian (from the Top 10 Holiday Park and who is also a volunteer fire fighter) getting advanced warning of storms, before Council even gets the warning.  He spoke about how Ian, for 12 years, has been asking Council to enable him to release the dam when storms are coming.  He understands Council is now putting in an automated system that can be administered from Barkes Corner.  Generally, flooding only occurs when we have a storm with an easterly, which brings a high tide.  Brian sees the
problem differently.  For Brian the problem is not the build up of water, it’s more an issue of getting water released.  Council should have pumps at
Darley and Two Mile Creek to pipe water out to sea, however this has been rubbished by Council as being too expensive.  At this point Briarn referred to comment made by the Mayor (Ross Paterson) that the solution will cost $12m.

Tysh – Spoke about the decorative island at the north end with a little channel that fills with bark and blocks the drain/along with sand.  She said council came and took all the plants and bark taken away and then filled it with boulders.  This action continues to contribute to flooding.  Little things like this that get to Tysh.  She gets upset about perceived inefficiencies in Council spending.  Departments need to talk to each other better.  Everybody seems to be doing their own thing.  It could be much more efficient.

Mike – Spoke about the canal behind the surf club.  When he was 10, the water quality used to be perfect.  They used to put lane ropes in there and have swimming races.  Now it doesn’t flow and it smells.  Mike believes the community misses out by not having a local depot with a local maintenance crew.  In his view it must be uneconomic having contractors coming from town.  There’s lots of travel.  It would be better to have three or four men here.

Tysh – Some of the maintenance contractors are not doing what they’re supposed to do.

Les and Desma – Aware of some of the issues.  Council needs to be more proactive rather than reactive.  Broadlands is a very good sponge for soaking up water.  High tide impacts water flow but it’s not high tide for 24 hours a day.

Brian – At Christmas time he measured the depth of water at Dillon Street bridge and it was just about four feet.  He followed the drain up the catchment and at one point it was only two inches.  While the outflow is being blocked the water carrying capacity is zip.

Arky – Said we have to remember the uniqueness of the land, that is, in one direction we have the ocean and behind us, the hills.  We all try and alter something and perhaps the questions is should it have been built on in the first place?

Kevin – Man has created the problem ie Two mile and Three Mile Creeks which were man made to drain swamp for development and farming. Kevin
spoke about Two Mile Creek being private and the implications for those people who are looking to progress a resource consent to do some remedial work and pay for it themselves.  He questioned whether this was fair given that the problem is contributed to by other (meaning that a lot of other stormwater from the catchment comes down 2 Mile Creek, which is privately owned and manmade).  Council had done away with local contractors and that is to save rates.  Kevin likes Waihi Beach without footpaths.  At the end of the day Council can only spend our rates.

Tysh – Spoke about how she witnessed council contractors waterblasting lines off the road the other day, and how that was an example of inefficiency.  Kevin responded by saying that the work was probably done in response to someone else demanding that it be done.

Derek – Clarified that in pre-European times the only drain to the beach was at the North End.  Various Councils have allowed the infilling of previously natural flooding areas.

Mike – Remembers the summer of 1982. It was very dry.  The quality of the water supply was like brown tea.  The problem was growth of vegetation and that was discolouring the water.

Kevin – Spoke about the Golf course proposal for Broadlands block.  Any development is going to have an effect on the ability of Broadlands to drain stormwater.  He objects to this proposal.

Arky – We do have to remember that a safe site is a more expensive site than one that is sitting in the flood plain.  If you buy a section in an area where there are problems you don’t pay as much for it.  You can’t expect someone else to pay for it.  People who brought them, must have known.

Jan – Said he knew they were in a flood zone, but he got through the resource consent process and built to a certain RL, which has now moved because more information has come to light.  Is it going to keep moving up?

Rob – All lower parts of beach have been filled in over the years, with fill from the airport.

Tysh – Said her dad has been here 12 years.  Initially it wasn’t in a flood zone but now Council wants to put it in a flood zone.

Kevin – Spoke about the possibility of an Ocean outfall – which wouldn’t be practical.  He also spoke about re-diverting 2 Mile Creek to Athenree however there were big costs involved and might now be impractical because the extent of development there has meant the natural creek egress has gone. 
He urged everyone to remember that there is a relatively small number of the community that is affected and that you’re trying to ask 80% of people who
are unaffected to pay for it.

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

Emotional Issues

  • How competent and qualified are our Councillors to deal with a problem of this magnitude?
  • Council to take some ownership of the problem and not just put it back on the locals.

Maintenance

  • Maintain kerbs, creeks, drains
  • Maintain drains and schedule
  • Stormwater maintenance needs to be scheduled and adhered to not to 'as needed'
  • Local maintenance and more regular maintaing of drains
  • Inadequate maintenance of drains by Council
  • Regular maintenance of existing drains
  • Keep natural open drains free.  Don't let people infill drains in Pio Shores
  • Canal near Surf Club (below bridge by Top 10 Camp) needs regular clearing of silt
  • Trees in Broadlands need to be thinned to allow better passage of water
  • We would like to see the drains in Broadlands widened, stablised and deepend to allow water to get away more quickly

Planning

  • Eradication of the flood water is very slow when it occurs - pumps
  • Problem of what to do when flash flooding and surplus water can not 'get away' pumped out?
  • Limit footpaths that direct drainage or create porous footpaths.  Carefully plan development to not allow more rapid run off or stormwater.
  • Two Mile Creek - Water needs to be piped out to sea using high pressure pumps
  • Increase ponding areas upstream of hotel on farmland
  • See www.tanksalot.co.nz - people should be urged to install holding tanks to delay water run off
  • Waihi Beach Dam - needs silt to be removed to increase capacity - empty lake prior to heavy rainfall - pipe water to sea
  • Problem is more flash flooding than pooling. Need a method to get rid of water faster at high tide. Pumping at outlets Two Mile Creek etc.
  • Increased ponding behind Waihi Beach Hotel - slow water flow

Finance

  • Better prioritising of Waihi Beach rates and transparency
  • Ensure fairer distribution of WBOPDC rates to pay for Waihi Beach issues.

Planning

  • If remedial work is done on drains / creeks then consider immediate impact on those bordering creeks.  Why should land owners adjoining creeks pay for that?
  • Council to have more 'teeth' when dealing with people and infilled drains
  • Pio Shores - stronger pumps to operate on a low tide
  • Pads / driveways on slop - Beware of solid (eg concrete) surfacing as it channels water like a chute gravel / paving stones don't.  They allow water to filter down (therefore 'sponge away').
  • Council to identify 'hot' spots.  Fix the problems before creating new projects ie. sorting stormwater is more important than curbing / landscaping.
  • Some roads (eg. Oceanview Road west of Beach Road) will not need footpaths as verges are porous sandy soil
  • Council staff on site that can respond to immediate need - draining dam when rainfall coming, - clearing drains
  • Only one footpath is needed for each street (eg. Shaw Road has no footpaths but Seaforth Road, south of Island View store has two?? 

Consultation has concluded