Huge boost to Te Tai Tokerau flood resilience

Prime Minister

The Government has approved new funding that will boost resilience and greatly reduce the risk of major flood damage across Te Tai Tokerau.

Significant weather events this year caused severe flooding and damage across the region. The $8.9m will be used to provide some of the smaller communities and maraes that were badly impacted better protection from future flooding.

“Alongside supporting Te Tai Tokerau to rebuild and recover we need to prepare for any future events and the Government is committed to helping councils and mana whenua do just that,” Chris Hipkins said.

The bulk of the funding, $4.2m, will go towards reducing the risk of flooding in Kawakawa, Otiria-Moerewa, Kaeo, Matangirau, Whirinaki, and Punaruku, including marae often flooded or at risk from flooding.

Remaining funds will go towards projects including removing fallen and at-risk trees from flood-risk rivers, stormwater upgrades, stabilising work, stop bank repairs, and early warning systems.

“Te Tai Tokerau includes some very remote areas, and it was these small, isolated communities that were really hit hard by these weather events,” Kelvin Davis said.

“We need to focus on building up our infrastructure resilience in the region, with this flood protection work going alongside work around our roading network and other core services.

“Marae also played a big part in responding and helping out the community during the disaster and I’m pleased to be able to provide some of the marae most at risk to further flooding with funding.”

The $8.9m announced today is from the $100m funding announced as part of Budget 2023. This fund was specifically set aside for practical flood protection infrastructure like stop banks as well as other local measures that can protect communities from flooding.

It comes alongside previous further cyclone funding for the region, including $44m for immediate works on state highways affected by the severe weather.

Notes for editors:

$8.9m funding breakdown:

  • $4.2m – Flood risk reduction work in Kawakawa, Otiria-Moerewa, Kaeo, Matangirau, Whirinaki, Punaruku. Councils, tāngata whenua, and communities of these six rohe will work together to identify specific work programmes to build flood resilience for these communities.
  • $2.1m – Removal and trimming of trees from rivers where they create flood risk. Undertaken by Ngā Manga Atawhai, Northland’s collaborative initiative tackling the region’s fallen and at-risk tree problem
  • $650,000 – Dargaville Wastewater Treatment Plant bund improvement
  • $560,000 – Flood intelligence and early warning system (Far North, Whangārei, and Kaipara councils)
  • $500,000 – Dargaville stop bank repairs
  • $500,000 – Stormwater upgrade in Robert Street, Mangawhai
  • $400,000 – Awakino Railway embankment stabilisation work

* These locations were all severely affected by flooding and were identified as further at risk using a catchment risk analysis based on flood modelling and spatial data.