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Resilient River Communities

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has secured $19.2 million of Government funding through the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to protect and mitigate the effects of climate change, which will support four Resilient River Communities projects and up to 63 jobs for the region.

About the projects

RRClogoHawke’s Bay Regional Council has secured $19.2 million of Government funding through the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to protect and mitigate the effects of climate change, which will support four Resilient River Communities projects and up to 63 jobs for the region.

The four projects in Hawke’s Bay are all related to flood protection, which will help the region to respond to the challenges faced by our river communities due to the impacts of climate change.

The funding came from the Government’s COVID-19 response fund to stimulate the economy and create jobs. We are working together with central government, iwi, communities and local businesses to build resilience in our river communities through these four projects.

Flood frequency and magnitude are increasing due to climate change and ongoing work and increasing levels of investment are required to respond to these challenges

 The four projects

The Heretaunga Plains Flood Control Scheme (HPFCS) covers the low-lying historic river plains of the Tūtaekurī, Ngaruroro, Clive and Lower Tukituki Rivers. The scheme services provide protection against frequent flooding to most of Hastings, Flaxmere, Havelock North and Napier urban areas. The area directly benefiting from the scheme covers approximately 39,000 hectares with a population of approximately 138,000 people living within the scheme boundary, which is about 82% of the Hawke’s Bay population.

In May 2020, HBRC was successful in securing crown funding of $12.8 million through the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to increase climate resilience of HPFCS by raising the level of protection (Level of Service or LoS) against flooding of rivers from a current 1% (1 in 100 year flood event) Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) to a 0.2% (1 in 500 year flood event) AEP and frequent smaller events.

Collaborative funding is enabling councils to respond to the challenges faced by our river communities due to the impacts of climate change. We are working together to manage the impacts of climate change on our rivers, to protect our communities’ lives and livelihoods. To build resilient river communities.

IRG’s funding contribution of $12.8m, co-funded by HBRC to the sum of $7.2m, has allowed the Regional Council the opportunity to accelerate its planned programme of works to increase the Levels of Service across HPFCS. Flood frequency and magnitude are increasing because of climate change. Much greater levels of investment are required to respond to these increasing challenges

By working together, central government, regional councils, iwi, communities and local businesses will build resilience in our river communities as part of this project.

Project details

Key sites across the HPFCS have been identified based on performance of existing stop banks on the Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro and Lower Tukituki river berms for a 1 in 500 year flood event, condition assessment of existing flood protection infrastructure and consequence of failure of each site. Based on this assessment, physical works on identified sites can include one or a combination of erosion protection measures such as widening or raising stop banks, introducing groynes, sheet piling, riprap protection, strategic planting, etc.

In addition erosion protection works, areas are being identified for ecological enhancement that will support and protect indigenous biodiversity and contribute to climate change resilience across the Heretaunga Plains.

An important component to HBRC’s funding agreement with IRG is that we meet our social procurement outcomes with an emphasis on supplier diversity, locally owned business engagement, targeting of Māori / Pasifica staff, employment of women, people under 25 and getting unemployed back into the workforce. HBRC have engaged a variety of local design consultants to assist in design of identified sites which includes condition assessment of existing flood protection infrastructure. HBRC are also in talks with local and Māori Pasifika owned businesses to deliver construction, design, and planting packages.

All councils are committed to a partnership approach with central government to enable and support ongoing development of processes and regulatory requirements to manage flood risk appropriately and effectively throughout New Zealand - including project prioritisation, data and insights sharing.

The timeframe for this programme is scheduled over the next ten years as a part of HBRC’s Long Term Plan (2018-2028) commitments, with IRG’s funding contribution targeted for completion by November 2023.

In May 2020 Hawke’s Bay Regional Council was successful in securing funding through the Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) Shovel Ready projects, allowing HBRC to fast track targetted scour protection works on the Wairoa river. This project is important for building community resillience and capacity to adapt to the increased magniutude and frequency of flood events as a result of the effects of climate change.

IRG COVID-19 response and recovery fund has commited to contributing 64% of project costs, 18% co-funded from WDC and the remaining 18% co-funded through HBRC. By working together, central government, regional councils, iwi, communities and local businesses will build resilience in our river communities as part of this project

Project details

Significant scouring has formed on the left bank of the Wairoa river adjacent to the Wairoa Hotel. The intersection of River Parade Road and Carroll Street has been undermined with the existing road and other associated Wairoa District Council (WDC) assets prone to further scour risk. Large trees and other foliage along the steep banks of the river have been compromised which has exposed the bank leaving it susceptible to further erosive degradation.

The project objective is to provide stability to the North embankment along the Wairoa River. Anchored steel sheet piles have been proposed to protect the embankment, parallel to River Parade Road extending east towards the SH2 bridge. If no action is taken, it is likley that there may be risk of further damage to WDC’s assets; including roading infrastructure, water mains and stormwater pipes.

The Regional Council has engaged Lattey’s Group to ondergoe the Geotechnical report, liquefaction assessment and preliminary designs of the proposed sheet pile wall. Soil testing and water samples are assessed for erosion rates to identify the type and thickness of sheet piles required. Following the procurement and detailed design phase, physical works will start in October and continue through to the end of the year.

As part of the enabling works, the Regional Council is working alongside WDC to relocate watermains along River Parade to facilitate construction of the sheetpile wall. The proposed erosion protection works will protect approximately 73 meters of the already severely eroded riverbank.

Planting of the upstream riverbank with the approriate trees and bush will provide stability to the rivers edge whilst also contributing to the biodiversity of the river. This will allow safe access for the public to the river’s edge and popular whitebating (Inanga) area.

The Regional Council have been engaging with local groups Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust, Wairoa Reserves Board – Matangirau (WRB) and Wairoa District Council to identify the aspirations and requirements of this project on the cultural values to the region. The Regional Council is in the process of undertaking a cultural impact assessment of the local iwi groups, as well as an assessment of environmental impacts on the fish, birds and plants of the river and surounding area.

An important component to the Regional Council’s funding agreement with IRG is that we meet our social procurement outcomes with an emphisis on supplier diversity, locally owned business engagement, targeting of Māori / Pasifica staff, employment of women, people under 25 and getting unemployed back into the workforce. We will be working alongside Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust, WRB and WDC to help engage local bussinesses and employ people from the region.

The project is schedule for completion in late December 2021.

In May 2020 Hawke’s Bay Regional Council was successful in securing funding through the Infrastructure Reference Group’s (IRG) Shovel Ready projects, allowing us to fast track targeted scour protection works on the Waipawa River. This project will help build community resilience and capacity to adapt to the increased magnitude and frequency of flood events as a result of the effects of climate change.

IRG COVID-19 response and recovery fund has committed to contributing 64% of project costs, 30% co-funded from Waka Kotahi and the remaining 6% co-funded through the Regional Council. By working together, central government, regional councils, iwi, communities and local businesses will build resilience in our river communities as part of this project.

Erosion on Waipawa riverbanks upstream of State Highway 50 have been gradually deteriorating over the last 10 years. As a result, the Regional Council have been managing this erosion with small scale engineering works and planting but with limited success. More recently, erosion on the left bank upstream of the SH50 bridge has started to outflank the Northern approach, potentially compromising this key arterial route.

Project details

IRG COVID-19 response and recovery fund has allowed a long-term erosion protection design to be fast tracked. The design solution incorporates a balance of river calming methods and channel realignment to deter the water from the banks. The works include a combination of large-scale earthworks to realign the meandering braid, allowing for greater capacity by deepening and widening the bed, and armouring of the riverbanks.

Akmons (large precast concrete blocks linked with steel cables) were partially buried and positioned on the left bank, upstream of the bridge to deflect the flow of water back into the design channel. In addition, a lattice of steel rail irons woven together by steel cable formed groynes on left and right banks to capture debris and build up transported gravels minimising the risk of erosion to the banks. Planting of willows and indigenous trees give the groynes and embankment stability through their deep root structures.

An important component to HBRC’s funding agreement with IRG is that we meet our social procurement outcomes. Some of these key outcomes include engagement of locally owned businesses, employment of Māori / Pasifica staff, women, people aged 16-25 years of age and unemployed.

HBRC have collaborated with Te Wai Mauri’s Kaitiaki Rangers to assist with strategic planting on the awa. The Kaitiaki Rangers, all employed through local Hapu Ngāti Parau, are based out of Waiohiki Marae with a focus on riparian planting and environmental restoration. As part of this project, HBRC’s Works Group have invested in upskilling and training with the Kaitiaki Rangers to plant willow poles, slot trees and plant native species at the Waipawa River SH50 site. In total, over 4,700 willows and 1,000 natives plants were established on the banks of the river.

As part of the works, HBRC engaged an Ecologist to undertake an Assessment of Environmental Effects before, during and after the completion of the project to document environmental effects. This stretch of river is ecologically sensitive as it has one of the most densely populated areas of banded dotterels in Hawke’s Bay. Upon completion of the works, a net increase in banded dotterel breeding areas was confirmed.

 

In May 2020 Hawke’s Bay Regional Council was successful in securing crown funding through the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to develop a strategy for gravel management in the Upper Tukituki (UTT) scheme. The IRG funding has been provided to incentivise extraction within the UTT scheme by reducing costs associated with extracting gravels from the schemes five rivers (Upper Tukituki, Waipawa, Magaonuku, Tukipo and Makaretu), thus making them comparative to the cost of extracting elsewhere within HBRC’s other schemes.

Build up of gravel (aggradation) in rivers within the Upper Tukituki (UTT) scheme has been an issue for more than a decade. The higher elevation of the river beds has compromised the level of service within the scheme. The current estimate of gravel available to be extracted is in the order of 3.2 million m3.

Extracting gravels from rivers within Hawke’s Bay has been an effective way to increase river capacity and reducing risk of water inundation of neighbouring properties during flood events. The gravels are typically used for industrial purposes, both processed and unprocessed pending on the characteristics of the gravel and the desired use.

The limited funding generated by the UTT scheme and proximal distance to civil and infrastructure projects within the Hawke’s Bay Region has hindered any significant gravel extraction. Reduction in gravel levies has been used to incentivise extraction within the scheme, however this has had limited success.

Without gravel extraction, aggradation will continue and reduce the Level of Service of the UTT rivers. The overall desired outcome of the project is to provide a 1 in 100 year flood protection to the UTT scheme.

Erosion control SH50 bridge project 

We have collaborated with Kānoa Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Te Wai Mauri, and Ahikā to provide erosion protection to SH50 on the Waipawa River.

This video discusses some of the key project challenges, engineering solutions, biodiversity benefits and how we are supporting a resilient Central Hawke’s Bay.

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