Less flooding, more jobs in Southland and Otago

New investment in flood protection measures in Southland and Otago will keep residents safer and boost their local economies, with funding of $30 million from central Government announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today.

The funding forms part of the $210m for shovel-ready climate resilience and flood protection projects being delivered through the $3 billion tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure.

“Every year flooding costs regional economies many millions of dollars,” Shane Jones said.

“On top of that, there is the considerable stress of lost income and the cost of rebuilding and repairing the damage.

“Flooding impacts livelihoods and damages the infrastructure that people rely on to stay safe and to get around. Investing to mitigate these impacts makes sense for individuals and businesses.

“Projects proposed for funding in both regions include stopbanks and flood protection works in both Otago and Southland and the Outram flood remediation project.

“We want to work directly with regional councils to undertake a range of flood protection measures including upgrading stop banks, creating new stop banks, flood damage repairs, earthworks and flood management structures.

“And aside from the benefits of the infrastructure itself, this investment will provide immediate and much needed jobs during construction for an economy recovering from the impact of COVID-19. Most of those jobs will not require extensive training for new workers, so they are good to go.

“This funding will make a real difference to people living in Southland and Otago by not only making them safer from the impact of flooding but also providing new work opportunities,” Shane Jones said.

Notes to editors:

All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.

The Provincial Development Unit will contract directly with regional councils for the flood protection proportion of the ‘shovel ready’ tagged contingency.

Otago will receive $5m and Southland will receive $25m.

Projects which may be funded (subject to due diligence and council prioritisation) are:

Otago

  • Outram Flood Protection – earthworks and culverts construction project to protect the Outram community
  • Riverbank Road Flood Protection, Lower Clutha – stabilising of critical flood protection infrastructure for Clutha Delta
  • Upgrade and Installation of ORC Flow Management Structures at Robson Lagoon (part of Lake Tuakitoto Wetland), Lower Clutha, Balclutha
  • West Taieri Flood Protection Contour Channel Upgrade 2,820m (stages 5, 7 ,8, 9, and 10)

Southland

  • Boundary Creek Stop Bank Upgrade, SH1, Mataura
  • Gore Town Stopbank Protection – following 2020 floods
  • Mataura Town Stopbank Protection – following recent floods
  • Mataura Town Stopbank Upgrade – critical flood protection following 2020 flood
  • Otepuni Stop Banks Upgrade – crticial flood protection for Invercargill City
  • Stead St Pump Station, Stead Street, Invercargill City – replacement major upgrade of old 1950s pump station. Critical flood protection
  • Stead Street stop bank Upgrade, Invercargill
  • Waiau River Flood damage repairs – critical repairs following 2019 flood
  • Waihopai Stop Banks Upgrade – critical flood protection for Invercargill City
  • Waimumu Stopbank Upgrade – critical flood protection following 2020 flood
  • Wyndham Stopbank Upgrade – critical flood protection following 2020 flood