Auckland Council endorses first flood resilience projects in Māngere and Muriwai

Publish Date : 04 Jul 2024
Flood Resilience
Blue-green networks help to keep our communities safe during severe weather events.

Today, Auckland Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee endorsed flood resilience projects in Māngere as well as landslide and stormwater resilience upgrades in Muriwai.  

These projects are part of the wider Making Space for Water programme and represent the first in a series of projects that will increase flood resilience in the region. 

“I’m pleased to see the first Making Space for Water projects get off the ground. Māngere and Muriwai were among the hardest hit during Cyclone Gabrielle and the Anniversary weekend flood and it’s good to see these works are progressing quickly, so that the people living in these areas, like many in Kāinga Ora homes, are not exposed to the same risk in the future,” says Mayor Wayne Brown.

“This is a significant milestone for Auckland, and it shows central government and Auckland Council working together, to fund solutions to help communities be more flood resilient. An Order in Council will help to accelerate the project and remove the immediate consenting burden and cost. Flood resilience projects in Māngere will protect hundreds of households from future flooding risk and I look forward to working closely with Kāinga Ora in developing new homes in these places in the future.” 

Cr John Watson, Chair of the Transport and Infrastructure Committee, says: “We are seeing more extreme weather, and many parts of Auckland are becoming increasingly vulnerable to heavy rain. If these works go ahead, we’ll see hundreds of homes in Māngere with a reduced flood risk. 

“Some of these homes are classed as having an intolerable risk to life and would otherwise have had to be removed, so it’s important to do what we can to deliver these projects quickly. It’s great to see the council working with central government to do this and deliver this key next step which will reduce the risk for so many households.”

Cr Christine Fletcher, Deputy Chair of the Transport and Infrastructure Committee echoes this sentiment and the importance of this work in Auckland to increase our resilience to extreme weather. 

“This is an important step in the process and shows Auckland Council’s commitment to flood resilience projects and delivering them in a timely manner for all Aucklanders,” says Cr Fletcher. 

“We saw many areas in Auckland impacted by the severe weather events last year. It was a difficult time for our communities, and we are very aware how important it is to improve flood resilience across the region. However, it’s also important to progress this work quickly, where we can do so, which is why we are looking to start this significant programme of work in Māngere and Muriwai.”

In Māngere, the committee supported the comprehensive flood resilience projects for Te Ararata and Harania catchments and supported staff requesting an Order in Council from the central government to deliver these projects quickly, which is subject to ministerial and Cabinet approval. 

In Muriwai, the committee also voted to support the Muriwai landslide and stormwater resilience upgrades which are estimated to begin later this year. 

About Making Space for Water 

The Making Space for Water programme includes a range of initiatives to reduce flood risk to Aucklanders. Part of this is building new flood resilient infrastructure to enhance stormwater assets and green spaces to deliver increased flood management.  

Auckland Council is sharing some of the cost of flood resilience projects with central government as part of a $2B co-funding agreement for storm recovery. These are subject to business case approvals from both the council and the government, and projects must demonstrate a flood risk reduction for the wider community, not just individual properties.  

What are we planning on doing? 

The proposed works in the Te Ararata catchment include: 

  • Increasing the stream capacity under Walmsley Road bridge, 
  • Improving the maintenance access for the Mahunga Drive culverts, 
  • Installing debris capture devices along the Te Ararata stream. 

The proposed works in the Harania catchment include: 

  • Replacing embankments at Tennessee Avenue and Blake Road with an open stream and pipe bridges to increase water capacity, 
  • Enhancing the newly created stream area with landscaping and planting.  

This means that 244 properties in Te Ararata and Harania catchments are predicted to have a reduced flood risk, including 51 assessed as an intolerable risk to life. The total cost of the works will be approximately $53M.  

“The Harania and Te Ararata catchments in Māngere were amongst the worst affected in Tāmaki Makaurau and Māngere continues to be impacted by heavy rain events. As we progress recovery, as a region, it’s important that we do what we can to support our communities on this journey,” says Manukau ward councillor Alf Filipaina. 

"I also want to acknowledge the advocacy and support of the Chair of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Tauanu'u Nick Bakulich and the members. It has been crucial," he says.

“We’re talking about some of the highest flood risk areas in Auckland and Māngere is a priority for us,” says Manukau ward councillor Lotu Fuli. 

“Many areas were impacted and many also need these projects so that the local community can benefit. We look forward to working collaboratively with our community,  local board and Iwi groups to deliver these projects that will help bolster flood resilience in the wider Māngere area. We know that the works in Māngere can be done so it makes sense to start here – but this is only the beginning of a much wider, regional programme,” she says. 

The proposed works in Muriwai include: 

  • Installing a reinforced stop-bank on Domain Crescent, 
  • Upgrading open channel roadside drains and driveway crossings along Motutara Road to increase the stormwater capacity, 
  • Installing sediment and debris traps that reduce the frequency of blockages and make maintenance of the network easier. 

This means that around 60 properties in Muriwai will have a reduced flood risk, including four properties to be protected from landslide risks. The total cost of the works will be approximately $5M. 

“The severe weather events in early 2023 had a very real impact on many of our communities and we all saw the devastation in Muriwai. These works can be done, and can be done quickly, so it’s great to play our part and endorse these so we can really get started on the regionwide programme,” says Cr Greg Sayers, Rodney ward councillor. 

“There’s more work to be done and many areas that need our focus. This is just the beginning.” 

Next steps 

Business cases for the Māngere and Muriwai projects have been submitted to Government for approval and co-funding – a decision on this is expected in the coming months. 

To complete the physical works in Māngere and reduce flood risk as quickly as possible, Auckland Council has requested an ‘Order in Council’, under the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Act 2023, to enable rapid delivery of projects that will help communities to recover from the severe weather events of early 2023. 

The Ministry for the Environment is leading policy work on the proposal. Subject to ministerial and Cabinet decisions, public engagement would be expected to begin on 30 July 2024. 

The Order in Council has been requested for the Te Ararata and Harania catchments works only.

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