Environment Southland is upgrading existing stop banks in Wyndham township (population 550+). The aim is to provide a more robust and continuous flood defence scheme for Wyndham by focusing on areas that present the most risk to the community in the event of flooding in the near term. The Wyndham stop banks guard the town against the Mataura River to the north, west and south and its tributary, the Mimihau Stream, to the north. They were built in the early 1970s following widespread flooding in 1968 and were raised after severe flooding hit the region again in 1978.
As with the towns of Gore and Mataura, the February 2020 floods in Southland saw stop banks in Wyndham tested by floodwaters to near capacity with all of the residents requiring evacuation.
Wyndham's stop banks will be made wider with flatter side slopes. Increasing their width strengthens the stop banks and means that they can be easily raised in future to accommodate larger floods resulting from climate change.
Commencement of further tree work in the vicinity of the stop banks and staged earthworks commenced in January 2023 and will be completed during the 2023-24 construction season.