Flood resilience – everybody has a part to play

Publish Date : 13 Mar 2024

The last 12 months have reminded us how vulnerable Aucklanders are to the impact of flooding. All 1.7 million of us were impacted in some way, though many suffered significant losses including property damage, physical and mental trauma and even loss of life.

That is why Making Space for Water is such an integral part of the Long-term Plan and why investing in a programme of infrastructure is so important to strengthen Auckland’s resilience against flooding.

The ‘Making Space for Water’ programme proposes seven operational initiatives including delivery of critical works, repair and rebuild to help build resilience for the stormwater network and reduce the impact of future flooding.

The proposed work comprises increased maintenance, stream rehabilitation, culvert and bridge upgrades, overland flow path management and the roll out of ‘blue-green’ networks in critical flood-risk areas – which are stormwater solutions that enhance parkland and open space.

Auckland Council’s chief of strategy, Megan Tyler, says flood resilience is a combination of investment and community involvement.

“Council investment in infrastructure will help fast-track improvements to support communities, property owners and tenants. This investment will benefit hugely from landowners also looking at flood resilience on their own properties too, as it can help minimize adverse impacts in their neighbourhood,” says Megan.

“With Aucklanders playing their part alongside the council’s infrastructure investment, we will start to see significant change.”

The council’s work is part of a cost-sharing arrangement with the government to fund flood resilience and recovery work.

The good news is, Aucklanders have a chance to say how they want the council to invest in infrastructure.

Consultation with Aucklanders on the Making Space for Water programme was carried out in August 2023 and feedback favoured support for the programme and funding as included in the central proposal of the Long-term Plan. But there are alternatives.

Do less options for Making Space for Water include continuing with maintenance, increased compliance monitoring and no further significant investment. This option would not take full advantage of the government’s agreed co-funding.

Do more options include accelerating the programme to deliver faster than the 10 years under the central proposal, potentially down to six years if feasible.

These options challenge Aucklanders to have a good think about what is important for them and their region.

Megan urges Aucklanders, whether a business owner in Henderson, a tenant in Glenfield or a homeowner in Onehunga, to think about how much they are prepared to spend for a safer more resilient city?

To have your say on the plan click here and find out more about the Long-term Plan proposal before making your submission.

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