Feedback from Workshop Two - Thursday 20th February 2014

almost 6 years ago

Workshop Two – Thursday 20th February 2014: Facilitated by Mike Tilyard

Following welcome comments by Councillor Mike Williams, Mike Tilyard (Principal of Waihi Beach School) opened the meeting and gave an outline of the objectives of the workshop.  Workshop participants were each invited to talk about their experience of flooding at Waihi Beach.

Chris – from Seafoam Place had only been a resident at Waihi Beach for about 2 months.  She had come along today to find out what had happened in the past and potentially what the implications might be for her.

Stewart – Had been a resident of Waihi Beach since 1965 and developed Maranui Estate.  Stewart spoke about the situation that arose in the 1950s between Neil Fergus and Harvey Taylor.  Specifically Stewart said that even though the then drainage catchment board authorised the unblocking of the
creeks, they remain blocked to this day.  In Stewart’s view you cannot stop water going down hill.  The question should be what’s the best solution for available money?  Stewart remembers waves breaking on the shops behind the surf club.

Brian – from Bowentown.  Brian spoke about the creeks and that stormwater can’t discharge into the sea when it’s rough.  He also spoke about the Otawhiwhi drain and how since the drain has been filled in the water now goes under the piles in his house.  Brian spoke about the need to do something soon particularly with bridges in the area.  Brian recounted a time when he was a bus driver and had to deliver children to their doors for
fear that they would drown otherwise (such was the level of the flood waters).

George – from Bowentown.  Has not experienced flood issues directly.  Says if there’s no outlet, then there’s no where for the water to go.

Dennis – from Seaforth Road.  His property was purchased in 2010 and is currently rented.  Dennis’s property has not been affected by flooding although he has seen the damage caused.  Whatever is done, it will costs money.  For Dennis increasing rates is a major concern particularly because he is now on a fixed income.  His rates at Waihi Beach are more expensive than Auckland. Dennis questioned whether subdivisions have contributed pressure to the system?  Specifically Dennis asked whether the subdivision behind the Top 10 campground was contributing to its flooding issues.  Dennis also gave his
view that experts don’t always get it right and that local’s have something to offer in finding a solution.  He gave the example of the Ruahihi hydroelectric power station and how the initial engineering design was fatally flawed despite the best efforts of locals to alert the engineers to what was likely to happen.

Colin – from The Crescent.  Colin is not directly affected by is concerned generally about flooding in Waihi Beach.  Colin acknowledges that it will cost ratepayers but that if nothing is done it will still costs (in terms of loss of land etc).  He cautioned though against trying to fight the sea/natural elements.  However, in Colin’s view something could be done about run off from land.

Pidge – from Hillview Road.  Resident of Waihi Beach for 43 years.  Pidge has never had a flooding problem except in the last two years.  In her view maintenance is an issue.  Drains are frequently blocked. An increasing number of subdivisions has caused extra runoff.  Rates are an issue.  Floods also affect the ability of people to obtain insurance for their properties.

Margaret – from Leo Street.  Margaret has been affected by flooding but can see it all at the bottom.  She is worried about it and can see the damage caused.

Rodney – from Hillview Road.  Rodney’s property backs onto ‘wetlands’.  The land there has always been quite ‘puggy’ and its not unusual after rain to see a big lake on the wetlands. Rodney questions where the water is coming from?  In Rodney’s view Two and Three Mile Creeks were a major error.  Rodney also spoke about the flooding outside Sir Ed Hillary’s place.

Glenyss – from Hillview Road.  Glenyss mentioned that about 15 years ago a big lake formed at 24 Hillview Road.  She acknowledged that weather is changing and that intense rainfall events happen in Auckland as well.

Mike – spoke about the need for the support of authorities especially in giving early notification of intense rainfall events so that children can be safely returned home.

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

Planning and Rules 

  • Development at the end of Edinburgh Street – has this made the situation worse?
    Run off from new subdivisions e.g. golf course, RSA;
  • Address the issue of subdivision, stormwater going into catchment area, now proven inadequate to
    cater for extra flow;
  • We don’t have flooding but can see the problem is that outlets aren’t big enough;
  • New subdivisions need forward planning for drainage, (given the existing drain problems).


  • Where is the cut off point?; 
  • Infrastructure to solve flooding but keep rates down as they’re already well above what likely should be.


  • How oftend do we expect 'rainbombs';
  • 10 year flood is now a yearly occurence.

Pipes and Maintenance

  • Plan to upgrade existing culverts/drains and regular unblocking maintenance program;
  • Notification early on of water levels (to the school);
  • Adequate drainage after exceptional rainfall;
  • Flooding under house and next door, do bridges need to be made higher?
  • Where is the water coming from? How to collect and divert the water? Are the collection creeks large
    enough? Should they be opened or replaced?
  • Maintenance – creeks, culverts;
  • General maintenance;
  • Stopbanks to hold water ponding areas eg by hotel;
  • Regular cleaning of culverts in low lying areas, size of pipes in drains?
  • Outlet of streams.
  • Comprehensive maintenance plan in co-ordination with weather cycles.

Consultation has concluded