Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan
The Upper Ruamāhanga catchment encompasses the upper reaches of the Ruamāhanga River to the Waiohine confluence, and includes the Waipoua, Waingawa, Kopuaranga, Whangaehu, and Taueru (Tauweru) rivers from their headwaters within the Tararua Ranges and Eastern Hills to their confluences with the Ruamāhanga River. The catchment has a total area of approximately 1,560km².
A floodplain management plan has been developed for the catchment, Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan. The process of developing the FMP started in 2012 and was then led by the Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Subcommittee, which was established in 2014.
A rate change proposed in the Te Kāuru Flood Management Plan (FMP) was recently approved by council in two stages:
On 1 July 2022 the rates change came into effect.
This means a targeted rate now applies to all landowners in the catchment.
In the past this rate only applied to riverside land owners. This change was made because the December 2019 Te Kāuru FMP goes beyond river management to provided wider catchment and community benefits. So, it made sense that people who live across the catchment contributed to this.
Before being considered by council, this proposal went through a Revenue and Financing Policy Review. This review process involved holding a public hearing and consulting with the public on the proposed change.
The Upper Ruamāhanga River Management Advisory Committee (URRMAC) has held several meetings and workshops to understand the Te Kāuru FMP.
The committee’s recent discussions focused on the Te Kāuru FMP’s vision of allowing the river more room. In the coming months, we will share information with the public and riverside landowners.
During the COVID-19 alert levels, we worked to obtain funding from the government’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package. This includes funding of shovel ready projects through the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG), the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), and other agencies.
MfE Funding – Major Rivers – Riparian Management
A total of 17 funding applications were put forward to the MfE for a variety of environmental activities. The MfE selected two of these applications:
The Major Rivers – Riparian Management application to the MfE was based on the Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan, specifically the riparian planting and fencing buffers.
This project will be spread over five years and cost $5 million. It aims to create 35 jobs with 120,000 trees (both willows and natives) to be planted over 100 hectares, with 30 kilometres of fencing. One of the main objectives will be to ensure healthy plant survival rates through pest animal and pest plant control.
Connecting with community and iwi groups is crucial to the success of the project, and we encourage anyone who has an interest in riparian planting to get in touch.
PDU/CIP Funding – River Road, Masterton
During the government’s COVID-19 alert levels 4 and 3, the Flood Protection department submitted applications to the Provisional Development Unit (PDU) for shovel-ready projects. The Provisional Development Unit is now called Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit.
The successful application was for a number of Hutt Valley erosion edge protection sites, RiverLink (Lower Hutt) river works and Ruamāhanga River scheme River Road, Masterton edge protection works.
The proposed work for the River Road site is based on the Te Kāuru FMP major project response, with an extension of river-edge protection from River Road to (and including) the Masterton District Council’s closed landfill. The River Road projects will cost $2 million over two years, with Kānoa contributing 64% and we will provide the balance 36%.
We have signed agreements with our iwi partners to co-design and work together on this project. We are working on the geotechnical and initial design details.
Operational work programmes continue as they have in the past.