Keeping Opunake in the dry

Keeping Opunake in the dry

Thursday, May 03, 2018

The flooding threat posed to Opunake by the Hihiwera Stream has been addressed in a joint Taranaki Regional Council-South Taranaki District Council project that is nearing completion.

The stream and a small tributary burst their banks and flooded properties in the township in August 2015, prompting investigations into the best way to reduce flood flows through the town. The flood diversion project was designed and approved in 2017 after the two Councils had studied the options and gained agreement from owners of land on which some of the work would be carried out.

The project has involved:

  • New channels, drains and culverts upstream of the township to divert floodwater away from the Hihiwera Stream and tributaries, to the Otahi Stream to the north (Stage 1) and to the Waiaua River to the south (stage 2).
  • With pressure on the Hihiwera’s capacity eased by the first two stages, constructing a channel within the township to divert flood flows from the small tributary on Allison St directly into the stream itself (stage 3).

“The major works have been completed and all that remains is a bit of tidying up within the town boundaries,” says the Taranaki Regional Council’s Rivers Manager, Daniel Harrison.

“It’s pleasing that it’s come in on time and on budget. The scheme is designed to cope with a one-in-100-year flood, so we believe Opunake can be a lot more confident about the future.”