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Diggers will be a common sight in the Waiarohia Stream and Hatea River over the next two months as a major river maintenance project to reduce urban Whangarei flooding gets underway.
Diggers will soon be at work in the Waiarohia Stream and Hatea River.
From Monday 23 January, work will commence to stabilise banks and remove accumulated sediment, debris and abandoned structures in parts of the two rivers, says Northland Regional Council’s Land/Rivers Programme Manager Bruce Howse.
"We’re aiming to reduce the impact of flooding on our community by clearing out problem areas along these rivers and improving water flow.”
“There’ll be diggers working on bank stabilisation and river sediment being extracted, so people may see the water looking a bit discoloured and churned up for a while.”
“However, past works have shown any muddiness in the water is short-lived and basically only lasts while the machinery is working. We’ll also have measures – including silt curtains - in place to reduce the discolouration as much as possible.”
The river maintenance work is part of a $680,000 Whangarei flood works programme being led by the regional council, in partnership with the Whangarei District Council and the Whangarei Urban Rivers Liaison Committee.
Maintenance on the Waiarohia Stream will kick off near Whangarei Intermediate School shortly to try to get that portion of the work out of the way before the school year starts.
Work will then resume at the bottom of the river, starting at the Okara Dr bridge and continue upstream to finish near Whangarei Boys’ High School.
“Much of the work will be focussed on improving the flow around bridges – they tend to be ‘pinch points’ where debris gets stuck and worsens flooding,” Mr Howse says.
On the Hatea River, channel improvements and bank stabilisation will be done on the segment of the river that passes near the flood-prone Whareora Rd.
“Getting flood waters moving better through this section of the Hatea will help keep Whareora Rd passable and reduce impacts on surrounding homes.”
The maintenance work on the two rivers is included in the Northland Regional Council’s current Annual Plan and is funded through a targeted rate on Whangarei urban properties.
Work is expected to run until the end of March.