How will my views be taken into account?
By making written comments during the
consultation phase and by presenting submissions at resource management
application hearings. Written comments
and submissions are very important for the hearings Committee to receive to aid them in
making a final decision.
Where can I find out more information about this now?
For more information, please visit http://www.gw.govt.nz/have-your-say/. As more information becomes available it will be put on the website.
Who pays for the project?
Flood protection work for Hutt City is paid for out of rates on a 50/50 split between the Region’s ratepayers and the Hutt City ratepayers
How much will the project cost?
Based on current best estimates, Option A will cost $143 million from the outset while Option B will cost $ 114 million initially but there would be a total cost of $182 million once expansion to Option A was completed.
Will I end up paying for this even though I oppose it?
Yes, as rate payers, we all have to pay our share in any agreed public works.
If Option B is selected, how certain is it that Option A will follow?
Based on the modelling and evidence of climate change research, there is sufficient information available to indicate it will be necessary to proceed with Option A in a 30 year period.
When is it proposed to do any upgrades or changes?
The current programme is for some flood protection construction work to be done between 2017 and 2022. However, depending on the option chosen, the overall scheme will take much longer. No construction work will go ahead before more detailed design is completed, costed and resource hearings held.
What if I am happy with the way things are now?
In a big flood, the existing stopbank is likely to fail or be severely damaged which puts hundreds of people at risk of their properties flooding. The democratic decision was made by the community in developing the Hutt River Floodplain Management Plan to have the higher level of protection which was endorsed by HCC and GWRC.
What does climate change have to do with managing the Hutt River?
We are planning for the next 100 years and information from the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report clearly demonstrates that we are already being affected by climate change and that it is only going to increase. It would be irresponsible to not make the residents of Hutt City aware of it and to build it into our planning.
What has changed to make it necessary to raise the standards of protection?
We are planning for the next 100 years and experience gained in recent upgrades plus more updated research and hydraulic modelling, which takes account of new information from the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, clearly demonstrates the increasing risks posed by global warming which we have to now allow for.
Why is it necessary to do anything, the present stopbanks look pretty secure?
They were constructed for a 1 in 100 year flood but when this was shown to be inadequate to meet future flood predictions, the standard of 1 in 440 years was set with the community in 2001. Currently the existing system in this reach only has the capacity for a 50 to 100 year flood.
What consultation has taken place so far?
Over the past decade there have been a lot of discussions and consultation with the community on flood protection in the Hutt Valley including those listed below.
Consultation over the HRFMP
Started in the 1990s completed in 2001
Consultation over the Boulcott/Hutt stopbank
Consultation over the Ava/ Ewen stopbanks and upgrade
City Centre Scoping Report
2012-13 - meetings with agencies, Iwi and asset stakeholders and widely advertising of the document and where to find it
Consultation over Hutt River City Centre
2014 – letters to adjoining property owners, stakeholders and Iwi
Why are improvements to the stopbank needed?
The improvements to the stopbank are needed to protect the Hutt central business district and residential areas of Hutt City to the agreed design standard set out in the HRFMP to contain a 2,800 cumec flood in the Hutt River. In other words, for a one in 440 year flood.
If the existing stopbanks failed and a major flood occurred, it is estimated damages will be $1.1 billion. These estimates are for direct costs only (buildings, infrastructure etc) and do not include indirect costs such as the human suffering that would occur within the community.
The improvements to this section of the stopbanks are the last in a series of improvements along the Hutt River corridor.
Making Places - other CBD benefits
Will the Melling Bridge be upgraded at the same time and will there be any more provision for cyclists and walkers?
Melling Bridge is a major flood restriction and to meet the 2800 cumec capacity the bridge needs to be replaced or upgraded to increase the river capacity in flood. Any replacement bridge will be designed to have better flow capacity for motor vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Some of the design options will also include a separate pedestrian/cycling bridge.
What sort of road improvements are being proposed?
NZTA wants to work with HCC to improve traffic flow upgrade the Melling intersection and bridge. The design will start within 3-6 years.
What about the Hutt River Trail and all the other recreation use along the river corridor
Recreational use along the river corridor has increased significantly over the years and along with a growing awareness of the ecological and cultural values there is ongoing continual support from the wider community to continue to protect and upgrade these key assets in line with the “Hutt River Environmental Strategy”.
With the proposed upgrades, what will happen to the car parks?
The current proposals will still allow for parking but this will likely be reduced from the numbers that exist at present. It will depend on which option is chosen and what other amenities the community would like to see in the area.
What is “Making Places?”
Making Places is an initiative of the HCC to link the city centre with the river and develop high quality public spaces. The river is an important asset for the city in terms of its identity and potential to provide increased levels of amenity that can attract and stimulate use and investment in the city centre.
Why don’t you take properties on the commercial side? that’d be a win-win.
This option was considered but scored low in the MCA because of the deficiencies in the river channel alignment and the property costs. Changes to the river alignment are limited by the placement of the existing Ewen and Melling Bridges and a technically acceptable channel alignment cannot be achieved. A better and more sustainable alignment can be achieved by taking the properties on the right bank (western side). This alignment is also less expensive.
What happens if I don’t want to sell?
It is Council’s strong preference to acquire property by agreement through good faith negotiations with property owners. If Council is unable to acquire by agreement and the property is essential to the effective delivery of the project, ultimately Council would need to revert to is powers to acquire your property compulsorily under the PWA 1981.
My property is required for implementation of the project. What happens if I want to sell my property before the project commences?
The regional council expects to be able to make decision on which option to proceed with by December 2015. Anytime between when the decision is made and until physical work starts, which could be up to 20 years away depending on the option selected GWRC, if approached by you, would be prepared to discuss early purchase your property.
Our house backs onto the stopbank – what does this mean to us?
It depends on the option selected following public consultation. If the chosen option does affect your property we will discuss this with you and, if necessary, negotiate with you to purchase it.