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Stopbank upgrades improve Tangimoana flooding resilience

Horizons Regional Council

Horizons Regional Council has upgraded the stopbank in Tangimoana to make the area more resilient to flooding and improve response time to flood events.

Horizons Regional Council engineering officer Melissa Churchouse says the upgrade includes an addition to the current Rangitīkei River stopbank across Tangimoana Beach Road.

“The existing stopbank used to have a gap in it for the road to pass through,” says Ms Churchouse.

“The new section joins up the stopbank and the road has been raised to stopbank height. This upgrade means that the Tangimoana community is now defended from river flooding by a stopbank, rather than a combination of stopbank and flood gates that were manually installed when required, making the area far more resilient.”

Ms Churchouse says the previous arrangement of stopbank and flood gates was the most cost effective option for the community at the time of design as it didn’t require raising the road to go over a stopbank.

“Thanks to the funding we’ve received from central government’s Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit (REDIU), we’ve been able to upgrade the flood defence for the area which prior to now was unaffordable for the local ratepayers on their own.

“The floodgates were never easy to install, and sealing them from flood water has been a concern. Having a complete stopbank system reduces the risk of floodwaters entering Tangimoana.”

Horizons senior emergency management coordinator Jeanie Ferry says the upgrade also improves response time to flood events in Tangimoana.

“Before completing this upgrade if the Rangitīkei River threatened the area flood gates were transported from Marton and installed on Tangimoana Beach Road,” she says.

“The upgraded stopbank means that the flood defence is already in place and from an emergency planning perspective is far more ideal.”

This work is part of the Lower Rangitīkei Enhancement Project which is 75 per cent funded by Kānoa - REDIU, which has a total budget spend of $5.2 million. In addition to building community resilience to severe weather events and climate change, these projects provide local employment and development opportunities.

“This portion of the project has cost approximately $200,000 and the upgrade was completed by the local arm of Downer NZ during summer. We’re really glad to have it completed and provide locals improved resilience to future flood events and the effects of climate change,” says Ms Churchouse.

The completion date for the project is March 2024. To keep up to date with work underway and see what else is planned visit the Infrastructure Climate Resilience Projects page on Horizons’ website www.horizons.govt.nz.