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Resilient River Communities

West Taieri Flood Protection Contour Channel Upgrade

The West Taieri Flood Protection Contour Channel is a man made watercourse, with the adjacent floodbank originally constructed in the early 1900s using horse and cart construction techniques. The channel intercepts runoff from the various steep streams located on the Maungatua Range and conveys this runoff by gravity to the Waipori River. The floodbank has an undulating longitudinal profile, which does not allow for a controlled overtopping as required during severe flooding events. Without remediation, a floodbank failure could potentially inundate 7,300 hectares of highly productive agricultural land as well as Dunedin International Airport. 
Otago Regional Council

The Project
Overall, the project is progressing well, with stages 5 -6 having been completed in April, despite weather events causing minor disruptions. The winter months have been focussed on obtaining the remaining required consenting, landowner discussions, as well as getting the next package’s RFP prepared to go to market ahead of the next construction window. This will be the largest work package within Otago Regional Council’s Climate Resilience Programme. This work is scheduled to begin in Spring.

Wider Benefits

ORC have been engaging effectively with Aukaha, Kai Tahu’s consultancy arm, to work towards positive social outcomes for the wider community, including working with potential contractors to create employment opportunities for youth, Māori and Pasifika. For the next RFP, tenderers will be asked to demonstrate how they are increasing opportunities for these targeted demographics and enabling work within their companies. Aukaha will support ORC in evaluating this aspect of the tenderers submissions. To benefit potential employers, Aukaha have local expertise in providing services such as pastoral care, and ensuring their whanau are able to seize opportunities which arise.

Overall, Otago Regional Council is anticipating a busy construction season across the climate resilience programme and is enthusiastic about the positive economic, environmental and social outcomes that projects such as the Contour Channel bring to the Otago community.