Waitara locals asked to share their stormwater stories

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NPDC is kicking off a project using local knowledge to develop a plan to help ease flooding and stormwater issues in Waitara.

The town has a long history of flooding, including stormwater, which NPDC plans to begin tackling through a Waitara Stormwater Catchment Management Plan.

We are taking a holistic approach to the project by including historical data, matauranga Māori (knowledge) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection) principles in the research.

“We’re aware of many stormwater and flooding issues in the town from previous discussions with residents but we want to make sure we’ve got the full picture,” says NPDC Manger Three Waters, Mark Hall.

“Ultimately, this work will make Waitara more resilient to heavy rainfall, and also lead to better management of the ecological and cultural impacts of stormwater on the river and other waterbodies.”

The first phase of the project involves information-gathering, with locals asked to share their stories of personal experiences with stormwater issues through a survey and online interactive map to highlight areas they know are prone to flood during heavy rainfall or where stormwater causes a problem.

“We also want to know about the community’s connection with them – like causing loss of mahinga kai (food sources) or amenity,” says Mr Hall.

“This feedback, alongside our investigations into how the built and natural environments contribute to flooding, will help us draft a plan that identifies the challenges and what could be done to address them.”

Waitara is the first of 13 areas throughout the district that will have a catchment management plan developed.

More details on the project, to take the survey and provide feedback on the interactive map are here. Feedback closes on 1 December.


Fast facts:

  • NPDC is investing $248 million over the 10 years to 2031 to fix the district’s plumbing for wastewater, drinking water and stormwater.
  • The stormwater improvement programme in Waitara received $20m of funding through NPDC’s 10-Year Plan 2021-31.
  • We collect, manage and dispose of stormwater run-off from around 6,600 hectares of urban area in the district.


Caption: Waitara River. ​