Flood protection shortfall prompts funding boost


Nelson City Council have put aside an extra $30 million for stormwater and flood protection upgrades as part of its Ten Year Plan, but $82 million is required to alleviate the current flood risks to the city.

A review of stormwater and flood protection identified a shortfall in protection which the Council hope to address in its long term plan.

Damage recovery alone is estimated at $11.5 million following extreme rainfalls in December 2011, April 2013 and June 2014 causing property damage, slips and flooding.

Nelson Mayor, Rachel Reese, says affordability is key when addressing the backlog of upgrade works.

“There is a careful balance to be struck in providing an adequate stormwater network to the city, while ensuring the work scheduled is affordable and appropriate. $82 million is the current budget estimate to undertake an appropriate level of flood risk mitigation works.”

She says there is a “three-way balancing act” between risk reduction for people and places, affordability and the need to preserve the natural values of streams and rivers.

“Unfortunately, undertaking all of this work in a 10 year period would result in Council breaching its debt and rates caps, so we need to find the right balance in protecting our city in terms of its infrastructure, but also in terms of its budget.”

The Ten Year Plan recommends additional funds are spent on priority works in the central city. These include completing work on the Maitai river, streams in the Brook and Saxton creek.

Funding will also be used to model flood risk for a number of less well-researched waterways outside the city centre.