A lack of quality infrastructure and stormwater system passed down from the Waitara Borough mean we cannot drain much of our roading network to the Waitara River during everyday rainfall. This creates ponding on our streets and footpaths, and overflows from the roads into private property.
Much of Waitara’s residential homes and commercial buildings encroach into floodplains or low-lying areas. These areas act as the primary means of draining land during flood events, meaning there are a significant number of buildings at risk of inundation from flood water.
1965 Taranaki Herald article, claiming the November flood was “the worst in living memory”. Courtesy of Manukorihi hapū.
In many instances, roads are constructed higher than the adjacent land. This means roads act as dams, holding back water that would otherwise drain away, which results in flooding and risk of inundation to adjacent homes and commercial buildings.
Land adjacent to the Waitara River stop banks is below the river’s flood level and cannot drain when the river is in flood, creating a situation where floodwater from large areas in Waitara ponds against the stop bank.
Degraded health of the waterways
Wetlands have been drained and streams converted into culverts. This has resulted in a loss of habitat for native species as well as the disconnection of the people with their natural environment, losing access to amenity and mahinga kai opportunities.
The Tangaroa currently gets culverted at North Street; the stream loses its original outlet to the Waitara river.
Lack of guidance to enable sustainable development
Our population is increasing and the need of residential land is unstoppable. In the absence of a consistent approach to stormwater good practice, recent housing developments in Waitara have worsened historic stormwater issues.
Deep understanding of the hydrology of a catchment is required to plan for property development that doesn’t inadvertently cause issues elsewhere in the town’s catchment. Updated flood modelling helps set the foundation for the analysis of stormwater systems.
Residential development site lacking erosion control systems.