Not Just a Storm in a Teacup

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Consultation has concluded

Not just a storm in a teacupOver the last two years your community has been flooded a number of times, causing extensive damage to private and public property. Dealing with this major issue is no easy task, particularly when it comes to cost. This is an issue for the Waihi Beach community and the Council to explore and understand together.

We thought the best way to kick the conversation off would be over a cuppa in your community during February and early March. The very first step, but perhaps the most important one, is to agree what the problem is we’re trying to solve.

"Einstein is

Not just a storm in a teacupOver the last two years your community has been flooded a number of times, causing extensive damage to private and public property. Dealing with this major issue is no easy task, particularly when it comes to cost. This is an issue for the Waihi Beach community and the Council to explore and understand together.

We thought the best way to kick the conversation off would be over a cuppa in your community during February and early March. The very first step, but perhaps the most important one, is to agree what the problem is we’re trying to solve.

"Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution. This quote does illustrate an important point: before jumping right into solving a problem, we should step back and invest time and effort to improve our understanding of it."

Whether you’ve experienced flooding on your property or not, whether you live in Athenree, Pio Shores or down at the beach, you need to have a say. Whatever the solution ends up being, it will come from the community and it will affect you.

This round of community workshops is the start of a process that could take up to 18 months leading up to Council’s three-yearly Long Term Plan review in 2015 where major funding decisions on preferred stormwater options for Waihi Beach could be made.

Consultation has concluded
  • Feedback from Workshop One - Tuesday 18th February 2014

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    24 Feb 2014

    Workshop One – Tuesday 18th February 2014 : Facilitated by Tee Carroll

    Following welcome comments by Katikati/Waihi Beach Ward Councillor, Peter Mackay, Tee introduced herself and the format for the workshop.  The objectives of the workshop were also outlined.

    Workshop participants were invited to talk about their experiences of flooding over the years.

    Peter – said he had not experienced flooding (as he was a relatively new resident) but had heard a lot about it.  He questioned why nothing had been done about it when it had been going on for so long.  He also felt that some people must have purchased their properties knowing that they could possibly flood.

    Gloria – has been a resident of the area for 44 years.  She said she knows the history of flooding well.  Gloria’s view was that it was the responsibility of property owners to adapt to issues, by lifting their house if need be, or alternatively, put up with it.  Gloria spoke about the history of Three Mile Creek, and that it was diverted away from the Athenree Estuary directly to the sea.  In Gloria’s view this was the cause of the issues.  Gloria spoke about her development experience (Pohutukawa Sands) and that this subdivision never flooded.  She spoke about how the Council came along and ripped up existing pipes and put in new ones and that now this subdivision takes stormwater from the loop.  Gloria was adamant that rates should not increase further and that if something needs to be done to fix the flooding situation then something else should be sacrificed.  Gloria acknowledged that not all the issues were due to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

    Frank – is a resident of Wilson Road and has lived at this property for 25 years.  He did not feel his situation was as bad as others.  He felt that the reason why a solution hadn’t been found now was money.  Frank described his section as being the lowest and that during heavy rain events surrounding properties drained into his.  Because there is only a 4 inch drain it cannot cope in big down pours.  He also thinks the pipe is blocked.  There have been occasions when his car is sitting in a foot of water and the shed is full of water, but it hasn’t ever affected the house.  Five to six times Frank has had to clean up mess, particularly in his shed.  Frank said that water from his area used to go into a big drain by Snell Road and from there down Didsbury.  During intense rain he can see all the water coming down off his neighbour’s roofs.

    Sue – has lived 26 years at her address.  Sue described the 2013 flood event where she and her husband were travelling in separate cars to get home.  When her husband didn’t arrive home she became worried only to learn that he had gone to the tennis club to assess the situation and was sandbagging the club and people’s homes along The Terrace.  Sue’s sister-in-law, who lives in Wilson Road, was badly affected by the flood water.  When Sue arrived at her sister-in-law’s place the flood waters were rising rapidly.  Electrical gear was completely ruined.  Everything had to be moved up high and the fire brigade helped with this.  Sue was then called away to the RSA (in her civil defence capacity) which was being set up as a welfare centre.  The evacuation of the Top 10 holiday park was anticipated but instead of people coming to the RSA they made alternative arrangements.  Sue and others waited at the RSA until 2:00am but no one came.  Upon visiting her retail business in the morning Sue could see that a massive tree had fallen into the creek and that about 1 metre of land had been lost.  It took a lot of negotiation to get the tree removed.  While the creek goes through private property it is a watercourse that takes stormwater from other properties.  Shortly after the flood event Sue and her husband organised a public meeting and SWAT (Stormwater Action Team) was formed.  The meeting was well attended and gave people the opportunity to share their stories.  It was both emotional and traumatic.  Sue said that some people felt that they did not want to live at Waihi Beach anymore.

    Kimberley – Has been a resident for 3 years and wasn’t aware of the longstanding issues.  Kimberley acknowledged that much of Waihi Beach was a flood plain and that there were both pros and cons of development.  Kimberley’s view was that Waihi Beach needed to come together, but there is a need to understand that some areas will always flood.  Kimberley spoke about where she lived in the south west of France and that insurers would only cover 2 flood events and that after that residents needed to accept/absorb the costs themselves, or decide to move.

    Bas – Lives in Shaw Road but has not experienced flooding.  Bas said that he accepted every now and then he’d get a bit of water in his garage.  In Bas’s view the flooding issue is to a large extent caused by the changing nature of how we live (sealed surfaces).

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

    Future Planning

    • Any new housing in affected areas should be on poles;
    • Future of property values at Waihi Beach;
    • Climate change, heavier rainfall, need to plan for the future;
    • Natural flood areas should not be filled for future development;
    • Infrastructure lags behind development;
    • Stringent building regulations are needed to recognise the environment;
    • Properties and environment are here to stay – what can we do better in the future?;
    • Inadequate upper catchments i.e. behind Wilson’s Farm, Maranui etc;
    • Increased land coverage by new housing;
    • Island View reserve being built upon?


    • Upgrade the drainage system
    • Darley's drain outlet inadequate – tiny pipe for huge catchment;
    • Maintenance and managing water runoff and drains on regular
      basis by Council;
    • Lack of maintenance of stormwater system ie blocked drains,
      kerbing and channelling etc;
    • Water works to clean drains to prevent floods; 
    • Drains don’t have to be cleaned out if they are going in the
      right direction;
    • Drainage from some areas is restricted due to pipe size. Believe that previously drained in opposite direction.


    • Storm alert communication via mobile alert, community notice board;
    • We need the council to really listen!
    • Community base support for aftermath of flooding/storm.


    • 3 Mile Creek often blocked up by sand – maybe Council can redirect
      to original source ie Estuary?;
    • Blocking of creeks ie water unable to escape (creeks would be
      better diverted);
    • 3 Mile Creek money used to unblock it should be used to fix
      problem permanently and divert to natural water course;
    • 3 Mile Creek was illegally diverted into the ocean, put it
      back to its original water course into the estuary going past the airport;
    • 3 Mile Creek can block up in a storm, be cleaned out and two
      weeks later it happens again.


    • One in five year floods happen everywhere;
    • People tend to look only at the positive until the negative
      happens to them;
    • Waihi Beach has a history of adhoc development characterised
      by strong personalities.


    • Council – where does rate money go?  Why no money available?
    • Budget planning to span more than 45 years;
    • What part does National Government have to fund?
  • Feedback from Workshop Two - Thursday 20th February 2014

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    24 Feb 2014

    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.

  • Feedback from Workshop Three - Saturday 22nd February 2014 (Morning Session)

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    27 Feb 2014

    Workshop Three – Saturday 22nd February 2014: Facilitated by Trish Coates (Morning Session)

    Workshop participants were each invited to talk about their experience of flooding at Waihi Beach.

    Dave – Has rental properties at Beach Road.  Said that he had experienced ½ metre of flooding last time there was an event.  Dave was not significantly affected but did have to make an insurance claim.  Thinks that Council should ‘just get on and get it done’.  In Dave’s view there is too much consultation.  It’s about getting the best bang for your buck.  He had heard that a golf course might be going in which may help resolve the issue.  Dave again reiterated that there was too much consultation.

    Murray – had concern over damage to his property on 2 Mile Creek.  Flooding will affect his ability
    to build on the site.  He thinks there needs to be some work done on the banks because of the significant amount of erosion.  He just wants it fixed.  Council should just get on to it.  It is a community problem.

    Nicky – somewhere along the line we need to draw a line and Council just needs to get on and deal with the problem.  It has taken too long.

    Wayne – from Shaw Road. 
    Wayne spoke about some remediation that was done a while back.  He too just wants Council to complete the
    work (i.e. maintenance on the drains not done often enough).  He spoke about how often the drains were full of sand.  Always cleaned after the storm but not before.

    Michelle – from the Bowentown end of Seaforth Road.  Michelle has been a resident for 2 years.  She says the drains just aren’t coping with the water.  She has looked at getting some private work done but it is just too expensive.  Michelle knew there was  a tidal problem when she purchased but now has the issue of flooding on her property from her neighbours properties.  The drain needs maintenance.  Service requests to the Council don’t seem to be effective.  We live with it.

    Kevin and Laurell – from the south end of Shaw Road.  Neighbours of Wayne (see above).  They are disappointed that they have been classified as being in a flood area.  Some attention needs to be given to concreting the drains.  Maintenance needs more attention.  Higher ground neighbours need to take more responsibility for their drains/cesspits that flood into our property.  Cesspits can’t cope with heavy downpours.  Get backwash when cesspits are full. Perhaps raise the height of the footpaths? 

    John – from Walnutt Ave since 1997 but visiting since 1957.  John’s grandparents owned a holiday home in Waihi Beach.  It always used to flood to mid calf height but John thinks it is worse now because of too
    much development (it has gotten out of hand).  For the first 15 years John never had any problems but in the last 3 to 4 years has had lots of flooding because of a particular development.  John thinks Council has made the wrong decision diverting water, but you can’t stop all backwash and the effects of high tides.  The first flood was 470mm and the second, 250mm.  John feels stormwater should never have been redirected to the northern end.  However he appreciates Council’s proactive approach so far.  John feels that Council will have to do something in the near future (not 5 to 10 years).  If rates have to go up by $500 a year we would be happy to pay an extra $10 per week.  John does feel sorry for the Council – people don’t want to help themselves and put their hands in their pockets. 

    Terry & Kaye – from Walnutt Ave.  Terry and Kaye purchased their property 3 years ago.  They knew via a LIM report that their property was in a floodable zone.  They felt they had done good due diligence and accepted that they would experience a bit of surface flooding.  However there have been 2 major floods into the house and fortunately insurance has paid for this.  They remain concerned about the disintegrating kerb and channel outside their property.  Terry and Kaye said that they had seen water coming down from the hills – ‘it’s not our water’.  It’s very stressful for them when it floods.  They are looking at possibly lifting their house but at a cost of $30k they don’t know whether they should be paying it.

    Donna – Experiences stress when it rains, and finds that she can’t sleep or relax. During the first flood Donna said she waded out in chest high water to get her son from the sleepout.  Every time it rains she moves the cars. Donna thinks $30k is a lot to pay to lift the house.

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


    • Holding ponds are more important than a golf course.
    • Stormwater holding tanks for those at higher level.
    • Diverting ground water away from northern end to holding ponds at southern end.
    • Install culvert – road by Top 10.
    • Holding tanks for properties on the hill (Maranui).
    • Increase number of holding tanks and retention areas.
    • Repair broken curbing – Wallnutt Avenue
    • Use reservoir up Pacific Ave property as a rise and fall catchment.
    • Cut a swale by surf club to let water out of carpark area as currently a stop bank.
    • Additional bunding on holding ponds.
    • Divert the stormwater from Maranui to Broadlands away from north end.
    • Retention ponds/pumping systems at Pio Road, Bowentown appear to be effective.
    • Kerb and channelling in Shaw Road to help prevent silt entering cess pits.


    • Effective response to service requests for storm drain maintenance.
    • All drive entrances from the road should be concreted to prevent soil etc from being washed into cess pits.
    • Keep drains cleared.
    • Regular cleaning and maintenance of present drains.
    • Cleaning drains before storms.
    • Cleaning drains more.
    • Get rid of weeds/grass on roadside.
    • Monitoring of maintenance contractors performance required.
    • Clear all cess pits annually.
    • Short term maintenance needs improvements.
    • Maintenance – ongoing, stormwater – ongoing.


    • Enforcement of requirement for property owner/s to pipe stormwater to council drainage system/s.
    • Use Public Works Act to carry out work re private land.


    • Moratorium on future sub-division on the elevated sections.
    • Slow down developments on the hill.
    • Stop large driveways.
    • Divert stormwater to Broadlands.
    • Restrictions on non-permeable areas.
    • Closer Council scrutiny of single/multiple property developers stormwater handling and/or affects is apparently required.
    • Large lake catchments.
    • If diverting stormwater, make sure that where it’s diverted too can cope without damage to property ie 2 Mile Creek.
    • Stop building new homes on the hill by RSA.

    People/Individual Responsibility

    • Stress.
    • Spend time at the beach.
    • More action, less talk, just get on with it.
    • Stress, fear, despair.
    • All residents to take responsibilities for their storm water by suitable soak pits or similar.
    • Financial hardship – loss of ability to sell, need to raise bach $30,000, unplanned expense on recently purchased bach.


    • This is a community issue, not an individual or minority issue.
    • What about imposing say about $500/yr for 3 years on all rates to fund fix up.
    • Costs to be borne by all ratepayers to solve stormwater problems.  Of tide problems to be paid by affected properties only.
    • Should I invoice Council for being a holding tank for storm water running into my property?
    • Funding by levy to fix specific problems preferable to ongoing (lower) rates increase.
    • Community issue – fixed term levy.
    • Levy on all reduces cost to ratepayers in worst hit areas.
    • Community levy not just those affected.
    • Rates rebate for people who have to raise their homes or spend $ on solutions.
  • Feedback from Workshop Four - Saturday 22nd Febraury 2014 (Afternoon Session)

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    04 Mar 2014

    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.

  • Feedback from Workshop Five - Sunday 23rd February 2014 (Morning Session)

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    28 Feb 2014

    Workshop Five – Sunday 23rd February 2014: Facilitated by Sue Hope (Morning session)

    After introducing the workshop, Sue invited participants to share their stories/experiences of flooding in Waihi Beach.

    One participant was concerned over what could be done for potential new owners buying properties.  This was an issue.

    Another spoke about 2 Mile Creek and the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen with the proposed protection measures.  This resident spoke about feeling trapped in a property that no one wants to purchase.  It impacts on work and private lives. The house is at risk.

    Another resident also voiced concern regarding 2 Mile Creek particularly the erosion and what is happening.

    A Hillview Road property owner (although an absentee owner) said that the property is raised and has not flooded yet but the section has filled with water.  The concern expressed was over what to do in the long term.

    A resident expressed concern regarding the Top 10 Holiday Park.

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


    • Its not actually flooding until people or property are at risk;
    • Surface flooding is a legitimate and good and natural way to manage stormwater;
    • Better informed community on current maintenance.


    • Potential significant rates impact for what percentage of properties actually affected?  Should the majority pay for the minority?
    • Should be a user pays/targeted rate (with small percentage general rate for the greater good aspect);
    • What year flood should we be paying for?  Millions just for the 50 or 100 year flood isn’t reasonable;
    • What development contributions have been collected for stormwater and how have they been spent?
    • Future rate increases to fix problems?


    • Drains off Three Mile Creek.


    • Water flow – drains into Three Mile Creek not flowing;
    • Drain cleaning all sides overgrown;
    • Tennis club run off from Pohutukawa Park;
    • How to get rid of water?
    • Infrastructure – drains, maintenance;
    • Creeks to sea flow;
    • Who is responsible for maintenance of stormwater drains?  Is there any oversight in the place?
    • Drain catchments.


    • New developments – requirements, resource consents;
    • Property owners know (or should know) when they buy a flood zoned property.  That’s their risk;
    • Planning – new areas;
    • Effect of subdivision;
    • Clarity regarding the way forward, time line;
    • Council regulations with regard to building in flood zone?
    • What can one do if a property is in flood zone but does not get flooded?  Can the zoning be changed?
    • Future development of Waihi Beach town centre given the issues with flooding along Two Mile Creek?

  • Feedback from Workshop Six - Sunday 23rd February 2014 (Afternoon Session)

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    28 Feb 2014

    Workshop Six – Sunday 23rd February 2014: Facilitated by Ian Smith (Afternoon Session)

    After introducing the workshop Ian invited participants to share their stories/experiences of flooding at Waihi Beach.

    The owner of a property at Beach Road spoke about the 2012 event when flood waters entered the property.  This person expressed frustration at not being listened to (spoke to Council 6 years ago about this, disappointed when nothing happened).  The resident expressed feelings of humiliation and likened it to being ‘kicked in the guts’; ‘it’s heart breaking’.  Resident has now moved from the area.  The house is up for sale but cannot sell due to issues.  Council signed off the downstairs area.  How in major flood zone.  Family and children have been affected by this.

    Another participant spoke of strong feelings about Council’s performance in terms of dealing with maintenance.

    A resident from Bowentown, although not experiencing personal flood issues as the house was up on poles, spoke about flood water having to be pumped across the road in the park.  It floods the children’s play area.

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


    • One off rates levy to pay for flooding problems;
    • Targeted rate for catchment;
    • Money allocation ie carparks, new footpaths;
    • Uninhabitable, unsellable, fixable – buy out upstairs pensioner flat;
    • Buy my house please!
    • Bigger pondable area, bigger culvert, new underground pipe system;
    • Landscaping incorrect planting, waste of money trees all died!!
    • Money spent on footpaths, parking areas, instead of underground services;
    • Co-ordination of works eg underground services, sewerage, saves money.


    • Council need to listen;
    • Need to hasten decision making, why is it necessary to wait until June 2015?
    • Pio Road/Seaforth Road – placement of weir, excess stormwater and dispersement to sea (holding space), re-direct to side of cycle track on other side of park;
    • Quality of staff – need to listen;
    • Preparing for bad weather, more ‘major events’, ‘100 year’ floods more often.


    • Co-ordinated approach across all departments;
    • Protection of homes over all amenities;
    • Divert Fyfe Road stormwater north not south.

  • Feedback from Workshop Seven - Tuesday 25th February 2014

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    03 Mar 2014

    Workshop Seven –Tuesday 25th February 2014: Facilitated by Peter Spiers

    Peter opened the workshop by introducing himself and then invited Mike Williams (Councillor for Katikati/Waihi Beach ward) to welcome everyone.  Mike affirmed that the purpose of the meeting was about sharing stories and that this was only the beginning of the process.  The role of the Council was to listen.  This was the community’s workshop.

    Peter then encouraged participants to introduce themselves and share their stories/experience of flooding at Waihi Beach.

    Simon & Kristy – from Snell Crescent haven’t been affected by flooding but have been quite proactive (together with some of their neighbours) and have installed a submersible pump.

    Vivian & Rob – from Island View area haven’t experienced flooding but have seen flooding on the road and in other areas.  For Viv and Rob it is more a nuisance than a concern.  However, they are concerned about flooding in the places that they like to go and enjoy.

    Wayne & Moyra – from Hillary Street and have ‘been around’ for 30 years.  Have taken their own measures to mitigate flooding by installing a submersible pump and haven’t had a problem since.  Wayne congratulated council on getting the meetings underway.  Wayne commented that as his property is the lowest section he seems to be the ‘catchment’ for everyone else’s stormwater.

    Chris – from Edinburgh Street (adjacent to exit at 2 Mile Creek).  While Chris’s property doesn’t flood his concern is the effect of stormwater on the beach and the consequential erosion.  He has seen 2 Mile Creek ‘blow’ and erode the beach.  Chris said that the beach is currently in a good state (i.e. about 2.5m above RL) but when it builds up it dams 2 Mile Creek.  When it rains it then scours the creek and the beach erosion is significant.  Long term Chris would like to see the effects of 2 Mile Creek mitigated.  He acknowledged that Council is constrained by the conditions of the resource consent which limits the number of times per year that the creek can be unblocked to 8.  He has hand dug the creek to unblock it.  Clearing it is a short term fix.  Chris also spoke about the Seaforth Road situation where 200m of pristine dunes were lost because the creek wasn’t cleaned out.  Chris believes the ultimate
    solution would be to proceed with the Tonkin and Taylor recommendations and re-divert 2 Mile Creek.  Chris said the council should’ve done the re-diversion about 10 years ago (or around the time that wastewater reticulation was going in).  In his view that process was stymied because the council thought it was too costly, but Chris believes those costs were ‘fudged’ as they involved costs for the wastewater project.  Chris asked whether more water was being put into 2 Mile Creek?  He believes there is.  The throttle on the creek is the pipe under Wilson Road.  There is more water going into 2 Mile Creek than other catchments.

    Pam & David – Pam has been associated with Waihi Beach for 63 years.  Pam and David are now more or less permanent residents and they share Chris’s concerns.  Pam spoke about the ‘clashing’ of the creek with the tide.  She feels for the people who have been affected.

    Rob – from Broadway.  Accepts that he lives on a flood plain.  Kerb and channel has improved things and lessened the flooding. 

    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 / Rules

    • Keep any building well away from waterfront and sand dunes
    • Council has to look at big picture, no just little areas in isolation
    • Common approach to flooding between Regional Council and District Council
    • Shopping area development re Two Mile Creek?
    • More care taken with commercial development in vunerable areas
    • Proposed flood zone areas
    • Avoiding flooding in existing area that haven't been flooded before
    • All the housing development means more immediate run-off from these areas, this will need to be countered in some way.


    • Insurance difficulties
    • Personal stress
    • Stress when there is heavy rain here whether we will be flooded again
    • Insurance issues
    • Deterioation of building due to repeated flooding.


    • Council holds these meetings, announces decision then without consultation makes changes (sea wall as example)
    • When the wall was put up we were promised a walkway.  This was not done.  I want honesty from the Council and promises kept.
    • We need a bold Council to act.
    • Local Council contractor and depot at Waihi Beach

    Two Mile Creek

    • It appears there is an increase of flow down Two Mile Creek.  Can Council inform us what goes in now, then we can know will increase.
    • Diversion or more control of the creeks ie. Two Mile Creek
    • Drainage into Two Mile Creek
    • Diversion Two and Three Mile Creek
    • Diversion of Two Mile Creek
    • Mitigating the effects of Two Mile Creek can be a combination of fixes
    • Diversion of Two Mile Creek through the original outlet.  Needs to be a long term solution.
    • Two Mile Creek - who owns? Who's responsible?

    Loss of Flood Plains

    • Covering a driveway area rules need to be looked at.  That is too much covering with concrete etc.

    Dollars $$

    • Progressive increases in rates
    • Whatever is done requires finance = loans and interest which impacts on rates.  Are the property owners all prepared to finance the proposals for the good of the whole community?
    • Increase in rates?
    • Rates
    • Funding the issues causing the flooding is a catchment one and it is this area which should pay.


    • Regular maintenance of existing drains taking surface water (2 Snell Cres)
    • Drain on Seaforth Road to Island View Reserve floods across road in heavy rain
    • Is there a battlement in the distribution of stormwater at Waihi Beach
    • Maintenance stormwater.
  • Feedback from Workshop Eight - Thursday 27th February 2014

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    05 Mar 2014

    Feedback from Workshop Eight - Thursday 27th February 2014: Facilitator Peter Hughes

    Brian – from Marine Ave.  Bought in 1982 knowing about the risk of surface flooding, which would
    come up from the creek.  Up until 2009 the creek was just an open drain but it was covered over for security reasons.  It wasn’t until a child drowned in an open drain in Auckland that council decided to do something about this one.  Over the last 10 years the flooding has come off the road.  Clearly the storage system doesn’t cope.  Council responsiveness has recently been very, very good, but before then Brian got ‘dumb’ replies from Council.  In 2013 there was flooding through the house (about 1m high).  It hasn’t done that in 30 years.  So Brian ‘bowled’ the house and started again and in doing so he built up 1.6m to design for a 1 in 50 year event.  Brian said that Waihi Beach has never been ‘hydrallically neutral’.  Driveways being concreted has contributed to the problem of flood waters coming off the road.  Brian hasn’t experienced insurance issues but believes the speed of runoff needs to be addressed and catch pits need to be cleaned out more regularly.

    Raewyn – from Savage Ave.  Raewyn had prepared some notes setting out what she wanted to say, and
    this is a summary of those notes.  Raewyn says rain water from Savage Ave, Brighton carpark and Ocean View Road all flows toward the pipe and drain by the reserve playground (beside Norfolk Pine).  This pipe is too small.  Perhaps compromised by Norfolk pine roots?  Outlet pipe over in the creek is often blocked with sand.  The inlet pipe gets full really quickly and then water from the road, carpark and reserve has nowhere to go so it builds up and overflows back onto the road and around the houses on Savage Ave.  Raewyn has talked to council on several occasions but has only seen the drain be cleaned once in the last 6 years.  There is a lack of communication and follow up by staff. A bigger pipe through to the outlet could direct the water in the direction it should be going. Raewyn said she is proactive in trying to clean the pipes and remove Kaikuia grass, but this is
    not her job.  She doesn’t think kerb and channel is the answer.  The water under Raewyn’s house makes the lino damp, but she’s never experienced water in the house.  Raewyn’s never had to make an insurance claim.  She also spoke about a recent experience with a contractor digging a ‘useless’ channel.  In Raewyn’s words ‘you don’t use a teaspoon to clean up a tablespoon’s mess.’Do it once, and do it properly!  Raewyn also said that she built 6 years ago and has had to retain stormwater on site but because the culvert is so small water cannot escape from her property.

    Grey – asked a question regarding the role of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in this.

    Matt (Finance Manager, WBOPDC) – answered by saying that the role of the regional council is to manage waterways, stopbanks and the coastal marine area (below mean high water springs).

    Derek – asked everyone to be mindful that the creeks (2 and 3 Mile) were both man-made.

    Brian – acknowledged that we have been experiencing heavier rainfall in recent times and that Waihi Beach was built on a ‘swamp’.

    Colleen – Colleen’s issue is the drains not being cleared and culverts not being maintained.  She said that there are more properties but no upgrading of stormwater infrastructure to cope.

    John – spoke about 2 Mile Creek and the scheme that Tonkin & Taylor have come up with for training the banks of the creek.  All subdivisions are now causing more water to come down 2 Mile Creek.  In John’s view the T&T plan is overengineered and too wide, noting that the creek is privately owned.  He’s not happy with what they’re proposing to do to his property.  John thinks what’s needed is a holding lake at Broadlands to control the flow of water down 2 Mile Creek.

    Ross Goudie – in response to a question confirmed that Broadlands block does function has a ponding area and has been more or less the same size and shape for about 50 years. 

    Andy – a Shaw Road property owner for the last 9 years.  He believes that maintenance is a big thing.  He spoke about the Darley Streetculvert being almost full after king tides.

    John then recounted water being manually pumped out of the Maranui catchment following the April 2013 event into the 2 Mile Creek area.  He reiterated again the need for a dam and holding pond at Broadlands but noted that ‘it all costs money’.

    Jim – following on from John’s comment above, said that surely the water could be released electronically to time with low tide.

    Colleen – said she would prefer big money to be spent up front, rather than taking a piecemeal approach.

    Linda – from The Terrace.  Bought in 1993 but have been coming to Waihi Beach since 1978.  Linda said she wrote to the Council in 2005 about flooding.  This is not a new subject by any means.  She acknowledged the support of Ross Goudie, as it wasn’t until she had an onsite meeting with him that people could understand what had been going on.  Linda spoke about the consultation that had already taken place.  She also mentioned that in the last 2 months some new pipes have been put in but they are already blocking.  She didn’t get what she thought she’d get.  Linda spoke about a meeting she attended in the carpark where a new grill had been put in.  She said that following heavy rain since the grill was put in the flooding had been the worst ever.  She sent pictures to the Council but had had no reply.  Whatever rain is coming it’s not being taken away by a big enough pipe.

    Colleen – then spoke about the fact that her property was now in a flood zone.  She expresses
    frustration that she now has an ‘endorsement’ on her property, that’s its devalued and put up her rates when the Council created the flooding problem in the first place.

    Chris – from Adela Stewart Drive East.  Is a relative ‘newbie’ and is not from then north end.  Chris suggested that there would likely be ecological issues as well (i.e. affects on beach quality in particular).

    Raewyn – Said if you want to solve the problem then council has to take out a mortgage, get on and do it! 
    We will all have a better asset at the end of it.  If you don’t like the rates impact then sell your property and live somewhere else.  Just stop bitching and get on and do 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:

    Pipes and Drains

    • Need for holding 'tanks' to temporaily store excess floodwater
    • Too much flow going into the Darley Creek outlet
    • Culverts are too small
    • No need to spend 'millions' as holding tanks need not be expensive
    • Use the Broadlands Block to hold water back
    • Pipes to small to take flow of water
    • Total upgrade of stormwater system - Darley Creek
    • Totally incompetent engineers
    • Kerb and channelling upgrade
    • Size of drainage pipes - not being enough and variable sizes
    • Infrastructure not keeping up with the subdivisions created
    • Stormwater upgrading not keeping pace with development.  Probably elsewhere as well as North Beach
    • Self contain water
    • Need holding dam/lake to store stormwater before sending down the drains to the sea in a controlled manner
    • In Australia, outlet pipes have flexi fittings on the ends.  Water comes out and sand does not go in.  This is place at Mount Messenger NZ to take overflow water and not silt.


    • Insurance
    • Insurance
    • Targeted funding - those effected should pay
    • Devaluation of property
    • Rates are seriously unaffordable at the moment so 'expensive solutions' will create problems with depopulation
    • What effect will this have on our rates, which are already very high,
    • Increasing rates
    • Money (rates) spent and inadequately
    • Rates high enough already


    • Lack of ongoing maintenance and clearing of drains and culverts
    • Regular maintenance of stormwater system and monitoring
    • Cleaning of drains and culverts
    • No maintenance of drains
    • No maintenance on existing floodways, culverts etc


    • Flooding
    • Flooding

    Lack of Action

    • Repetitive meetings and nothing achieved
    • To much talk and not enough action
    • Meetings achieved nothing
    • How many meetings do we have to attend to discuss the same problems and solutions

    Planning and Rules

    • Remember that Two Mile Creek between Edinburgh Street and Wilson Road is on private property and present design of proposed creeks bank protection will take up a lot of private property;
    • Because of endorsements on titles devaluing properties, will our rates go down?
    • Council need to do a job to cope - not a small patch job
    • Expensive use of concrete in drives.  There is permeable concrete available now
    • Development of new housing area with no (or not enough) provision for drainage and ponding.  I believe roofing area is taken into account - what about driveways and turn areas?
    • Council experts don't seem to know anything
    • House built in low lying area
    • If properties are tagged saying floors of buildings have to be a certain height above Moturiki, what about the shade angles etc for these propertis if they have to be built higher. 
  • Feedback from Workshop Nine - Saturday 1st March 2014 (Morning Session)

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    05 Mar 2014

    Workshop Nine –Saturday 1st March 2014: Facilitated by Allan Sole (Morning Session)

    Allan opened the meeting by introducing himself, welcoming everyone along and the inviting Karyl Gunn (Councillor for the Maketu/Te Puke Ward) to speak.  Karyl reiterated that her role in attending today was to listen to what the community had to say.

    In giving some context to the workshop, Allan explained Council’s position.  Acknowledged that people don’t feel heard and that a clear message ‘that things have got to change’ had been received.  

    Participants were then invited to introduce themselves, after which time Allan offered the opportunity for each person to describe their experience/stories of flooding.

    Lyn – Said that because she’s not a stormwater expert she has to reply on Council.  She referred to the land by the skatepark being filled/raised, which means flood water now goes onto her properties.  Maintenance is not being done.  Lyn spoke about the pub owners wanting to put a golf course in at Broadlands block, which she objects to.  She has had numerous meetings with council about her and her neighbours flooding issues.  Lyn said the culvert near her property had been put in backwards.  She also said the flooding events were terrifying for some people who had to call 111 and be carried out of their homes.

    Mark – from Savage Ave.  Said that some recent works had improved the situation but Council does not appear to have a commitment to maintenance. 
    Council continually changes contractors with no transfer of knowledge.  They don’t understand the intimacy of the stormwater system in our area and rely on locals to tell them.  Staff don’t transfer that knowledge to them.  Mark has given council’s Chief Executive and Group Manager of Engineering Services these concerns.  All of this knowledge just disappears into the ether.  The corporate knowledge is just not good enough.  It shouldn’t be up to locals to keep re-educating, and at this point Win (Mark’s wife) spoke about a particular drain that keeps disappearing off the drainage plan.  Mark ‘wears’ the stormwater from Brighton Reserve and Darleys Creek.  Lack of cleaning causes issues.  In the old days local contractors use to monitor the streams/creeks and would tell Council they were going to clear them particularly if a storm was coming.

    Steve – believes the maintenance contractors are sitting on a pretty easy wicket.  In his view Waihi Beach has gone backwards since WBOPDC took over.

    Marie – has owned property here since 1959.  Everything had been fine up until the weather bomb hit.  Is there a drain blocked?  All Marie’s neighbours have flooded.

    Gwyneth – from Pio Shores.  We need a better outlet.  It used to be through the marae.  It is no longer a suitable outlet for Pio Shores.  Possibly the outlet should be to the Athenree Estuary but what are the cost implications?

    Norm – both a property owner and a regional councillor, but today sitting with property owner hat on.  Norm was interested to hear what people’s  expectations of the Council were.  Are there even answers for the big weather bombs?

    Phil – said that you can’t plan for a weather bomb.  Phil concurred with Mark’s comments.  It must be absolutely frustrating to have keep telling council or contractors the same things time and again.  Although Phil hasn’t experienced flooding he has seen what happens.  The maintenance crew are not efficient.  He also referred to what happened to the Top 10 Holiday Park as a result of the Lake/Dam overtopping.  Council needs to acknowledge that there are things it could do proactively.

    Frank – from Pio Shores.  Owns a holiday home with a number of other family members.  Frank said that from 2006 until now they had experienced 6  floods in the rumpus room.  It started when the Otawhiwhi drain was blocked but Frank acknowledged that the marae had safety concerns.  Then Frank found out that their property was in a flood zone.  Insurance is a big issue.  The insurance company will no longer accept claims relating to flood damage.  Being able to sustain insurance cover (even for replacement and contents) is tenuous.  Every flood event must be reported to the insurance company.  Frank also said that council put in 2 pumps which doubled capacity but they still haven’t resolved the flooding issue.

    Carol and Ken – said they were heartened by the positivity they’re hearing from council to do something about the flooding issue.

    Burt – According the council’s plans he’s just on the edge of the flood zone.  Burt remembers an old mate of his talking about flooding 30/40 years ago, so this isn’t a new issue. 

    Muriel – is in one of the pensioner flats that flooded in 2012.  7 units got flooded and it was a terrible experience.  It was really difficult to get through to the council.  The Fire Brigade came and had to evacuate us.  It took 3 months to have the flats repaired.  Last year we didn’t get flooded but the amount of water coming over the wall was like Niagra Falls.  Some of this is due to lack of maintenance.  Muriel didn’t believe the 2012 emergency management response was very good.  No one from council rang to see if the pensioner units had any flooding. There is an issue with communication.  She tries
    to talk to the council but gets no response.

    Dave – from Scarborough Road.  Council come occasionally but only when the water has gone.  Dave believes the council needs to come when the water’s there.  They need to come when the old people are panicking.  The drains are blocked.  If engineers don’t turn up it’s useless.  Come and see it!

    Steve – believes that anybody who has a flooding issue should contact SWAT.  They have some sting behind them and will accomplish more.  Steve referred to the facilitators assurance that the Council was listening to the community but he remains unconvinced and believes this process is just a waste of time.  Steve feels that Waihi Beach will just continue to be ignored.  One of the best things however that has come out of the workshop so far is the opinion of the people that maintenance is an issue.  The general cleanliness/tidiness of Waihi Beach was far better when maintenance people lived in the area.  The quality of maintenance now just does not compare.  Steve then spoke about the visits he had from Council’s Utilities Manager.  They (Council) now say my house floods, but since 1944 my house hasn’t flooded (but my garage does).  Now I suffer because I have an endorsement on my title.  Steve ended his comments by encouraging everyone to join the SWAT team.

    Brett – Came along to hear what Council might have done remodelling for climate change.  He wasn’t aware of the flooding issues.  He would like to know how the council makes its determinations regarding primary and secondary flooding zones.  He’s not sure whether Council’s listen or not.  Brett then posed a question – about 5 years ago a new stormwater system was put in at Broadway.  Has this system worked well? 

    Derek – has owned his property at the back of Wilson Road for 18 years now.  When council put in the sewage system they put dirt behind the Wilson Road shops which has exacerbated the flooding situation.  There is some much infill housing behind Citrus Ave the rain just ‘screams’ off driveways.  During last year’s weather bomb the water went into Derek’s garage.  He spoke about paying more rates at Waihi Beach than for his Auckland property which is worth about $1m.  The extra rates that council has received from new properties has not translated into stormwater upgrades.

    Mark – in reference to Allan (facilitators) remarks that this is a ‘clean page’ approach by Council – he said that this is the third ‘clean start’ in the last 15 years.  He doesn’t buy it.

    Steve H  – feels for people.  Flooding is a symptom.  The problem seems to be town planning and maintenance.  The solution sits with the engineers.  He hears lots of frustration and piecemeal action however acknowledges that you cannot design a solution to mitigate a weather bomb like what was experienced in 2013.  Believes the community needs a long term asset management plan.  Angela (Steve’s wife) says she wants value for the rates paid.  Maintenance seems to be a quick win.

    Lyn – acknowledged the recent responsiveness of council.  Lyn also said she’s paid to raise one of her properties and the council waived the consent fees.

    Scott & Jan – said that stormwater comes up from Maranui.  They too acknowledge that you cannot plan for a weather bomb like that last year.  The culvert that comes through their property is far too small. Maintenance is an issue.  There’s too much council inaction and they don’t feel they get value for their rates.

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


    • Get back to callers either with what action is or is not to be done
    • Too much hui not enough dui
    • Inaction of Council
    • We keep talking about this but not doing anything
    • 'Flying Squad'
    • WBOPDC not doing what they said they would do!
    • Lack of communication from Council after, after-hours calls
    • The Council don't get back to you on stormwater issues when you put in a service request
    • Call Centre does not have sufficient knowledge - don't realise when matters are urgent. Council needs to come look during an event.
    • Most of the information from today has been communicated to WBOPDC already.  Perhaps finding it, reviewing it, and acting on it would have been better than running these 12 meetings.
    • Contractors knowledge - use local knowledge - employ 'Townsmen'
    • WBOPDC doesn't appear to heed the knowledge / advice of local landowners nor do they seem to be able to store and then utilise the knowledge.
    • Corporate knowledge of stormwater system lost everytime stat leave or contractors change
    • Knowledge not transferred between Council staff and contractors
    • Council don't always listen - there is a lot of historic and current knowledge in the community.  Work with it openly don't be defensive.
    • SWAT group - acknowledged as progressive group
    • Communication 'both ways'
    • Action -vs- previous words and promises
    • Timing after and during an event response
    • Council you need to visit district when raining


    • Our flood insurance has been revoked by our insurance company due to repeated floods
    • Insurance company refusing to give cover if one more flood


    • Alternative outlet needed for Pio Shores so that flood water can be released to the estuary or elsewhere.  There are 3 main flooded pools which restrict access to area
    • Maintenance needs to be regular and well done.  Clearing drains and clearing roadside guttering after spraying.
    • When a weather problem is known to be coming be proactive about preparing and doing maintenance
    • To have a permanent maintenance crew for Waihi Beach
    • Maintenance!!!
    • Weather bombs - can't plan for, however proactive with maintenance would help!
    • WBOPDC contractors seem to be more concerned about mowing grass than doing frequent regular, pro-active maintenance that would lessen the impact of heavy rain
    • Need proactive maintenance programme.  Not just cleanup after the event.
    • Level of service
    • Basic maintenance not undertaken on a regular basis
    • Maintenance of all drains in a strict work schedule
    • Pre-emptive maintenance of drains prior to heavy rain
    • Clearing of Darley's drain and pipe under Brighton Reserve to Darley's drain outlet to sea - needs to be monitored and done when required
    • Flooding of properties is the symptom.  The issue is the design and maintenance to maintain adequate capacity for 98% of rain events.
    • Drains maintenance needs improving
    • Maintenance of drains
    • The new pumps at Pio Shores have still not resolved the flooding - is there another option
    • Preventative maintenance of access ways before bad weather
    • Council should/must clear stormwater gutters and 'holes' frequently and often eg of leaves and debris in Seaview Road
    • Annual maintenance plan to proactively clean, review capacities and maintain existing infrastructure to ensure optimum performance
    • Maintenance of existing drains.


    • GST on rates - should government be helping us?
    • Decreased value of property
    • Council are accountable - what are they paid for
    • As a non effected flooding property already paying very high rates not waiting to see these rate rise further
    • Do not charge consent fees for any changes we make to prevent flooding
    • Ratepayers/owners who purchased properties after doing due diligence should not have to pay for others who bought, knowing they were in flood areas, or in ignorance
    • More proactive inspection or stormwater maintenance
    • Register of house lifters / builders.


    • Compromise of costs - everyday weather events -vs- weather bombs
    • List of house lifters for Waihi Beach
    • When will the promised walkway be put along the top of the rock sea wall? 
  • Feedback from Workshop Ten - Saturday 1 March 2014 (Afternoon Session)

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    05 Mar 2014

    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.


    • 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


    • 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 - 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


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


    • 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??