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Resilient River Communities

Lower Motueka River Flood-bank Improvement Project

Tasman District Council

Tasman District Council has received $7.5m funding, contributing to the $10m budget, to strengthen several sections of the Motueka River stopbanks. 3 stage project started 2021 - finishing 2024

Built in 1956 the existing flood protection scheme to protect the townships of Motueka and Riwaka, which are both built on the river’s floodplains, from frequent flooding in the lower reaches of the river.

The Government investment will allow the Council to strengthen the stopbanks to back to full effectiveness and improve flood resilience for Motueka and Riwaka. The Motueka River catchment is one of the largest river systems in the Tasman District, covering an area of 2170 square kilometres. The Motueka River flows from the mountainous Red Hills Ridge and Beebys Knob area more than 100km upstream of the river mouth. Eight significant river tributaries add to the flow (such as Motupiko, Tadmor, Wangapeka, Baton, Pearse, Pokororo, Shaggery and Brooklyn), as well as many more smaller streams and creeks, culminating in a large and dynamic river. The stopbanks have effectively protected the growing communities from a number of significant flood events over the past six decades.

The stopbanks have proved their worth more than once since their construction. To enable development and investment decisions around the towns’ development, the stopbanks must be maintained. The funding will also provide valuable jobs to local industry involved in the realisation of the project.

Motueka and Riwakas’ flood protection scheme is designed to ensure water levels remain well below the top of the stopbanks in events that have a 2% chance of occurring in any year, or once every 50 years. Recent investigations identified sites along the stopbanks requiring structural improvements to deliver the current level of flood protection.