The Mataura flood protection scheme is a comprehensive river control scheme providing flood protection in the form of stop banks and channel edge stability through rock rip-rap revetments and willow trees. The network contains floodwater to the river corridor and the smaller tributary creeks and streams and safeguards the township and key industries.
Extensive flooding in Southland in February 2020 saw stop banks in Mataura tested by floodwaters to near capacity, with the largest volume of water to pass under the Gore and Mataura bridges in recorded history. Emergency management and council staff, alongside Southland emergency services, evacuated 1500 residents in Mataura alone and 4500 + throughout the Mataura catchment.
The first priority for Mataura has been strengthening, raising, and reshaping the stop bank at Boundary Creek and extending it to the west by 380 metres. Although stop banks throughout the Mataura catchment performed well during the 2020 floods, the Boundary Creek stop bank was breached by water coming over the top and around the western end. The Boundary Creek stop bank works are now complete.
Waimumu Stream flows north to south on the western side of Mataura township. In December 2022 contractors began strengthening 4km of stop bank along the true left bank of the Waimumu Stream. This work is expected to be completed by May 2023.
Read more about the work being undertaken to increase the level of flood protection for Mataura township.