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How is flood protection funded?

Flood protection is funded through a combination of regional, zone and targeted rates. Those who benefit most (known as direct benefit), pay the most. Those who benefit least, pay least.


Are flood protection schemes the only way the regional council manages flooding?

We take a whole of catchment approach in addressing flooding. This includes catchment management (planting and stabilisation of upper catchments to reduce run off and sediment), river management (removing obstructions and erosion control), wetland restoration (to improve water quality, flood storage and ecosystem health) and flood protection schemes. We also have planning and educational tools to ensure our communities are aware of the flood risks and do what they can to avoid/ minimise flooding effects.


Why is there a flood protection rate on my rates bill when my property has never flooded?

Your property will receive some level of direct or indirect benefit from a flood protection scheme, and with the scheme in place it may have been sometime since the area flooded. To find out more about the flood protection assets in your area, type your address in our flood protection map.


Why do I pay for flood protection through my general rates when I don’t live near a river?

The benefits of flood protection go beyond just the properties located immediately behind a stopbank or floodwall. The assets also protect community services and infrastructure such as roads, telecommunications, water supply, electricity, schools, etc. Also, tidal and river flooding can extend far inland, particularly if it is low lying, e.g. parts of Patetonga and Tirohia are 1.8 metres below the mean high tide.


How does the council monitor and respond to changes in our catchments that may affect flood protection and land drainage, including climate change?

Our flood and drainage schemes, and our catchment areas, are reviewed every five to 10 years. These reviews take into account observed changes in sea level and rain intensity, duration and frequency, and help to determine how we should maintain our assets over the coming years. These reviews also take a longer-term look at how our schemes might be impacted by climate change, so we can start to plan and adapt. Also, all our schemes include a freeboard, a factor of safety above design level which allows for some uncertainty.


Why do you collect flood maintenance rates annually but not do work every year?

The anticipated cost of scheme maintenance is estimated over its lifecycle with an average rate applied annually. If there is no work needed in a given year then the rates are held in a reserve account for that scheme until they are needed, e.g. when repairs or maintenance are required following a storm event.