What is the Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan?

    Floodplain Management Plans set out actions that will be taken to manage flood and erosion risks of a particular river. They are developed by the regional council, together with district councils, the community and iwi. The Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan (Te Kāuru) describes the long-term approach to address flooding and erosion issues within the Upper Ruamāhanga River and its tributaries. The plan helps manage risks and helps to improve the security and quality of life for present and future generations living on the floodplain. It also aims to ensure future development, considers flood and erosion risks.

    Why do we need a Floodplain Management Plan for the Upper Ruamāhanga?

    Flood risk has, and continues to be, a big issue for people living on the floodplain. Over time, work has been undertaken to help manage this flood risk. However work has been undertaken in various different ways throughout the current river scheme system. The Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga River Floodplain Management Plan will bring together all floodplain management work into one complete plan.

    What is in the different volumes?

    Volume 1 – The background information: This volume describes why we need the plan, the vision, the aims, the suite of responses and common methods that will be used, how the plan will be implemented, and how the community can contribute.

    Volume 2 – Outcomes for rural areas: This volume highlights the different values, issues and management options to be delivered  across the rural areas of the Te Kāuru catchment

    Volume 3 – Outcomes for Masterton urban area: This volume will outline the values, issues and management outcomes in relation to the Waipoua River as this relates to the flood risk to the Masterton urban area. This volume Is currently under development.

    How can I contribute as a community member?

    Consultation on the draft volumes and proposed Floodplain Management Plan provide opportunities for you, as a community member, to provide feedback on what is being proposed in Te Kāuru.

    There a number of different ways to provide feedback during consultation on the draft plan. These include visiting the ‘Have Your Say’ website, attending public drop-in centres, responding to letters sent to riverside landowners, attending landowner coffee group meetings, visiting the project team at various community events, or contacting your local representative on the Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan Subcommittee.

    For more information visit www.TeKauru.co.nz or call our contact centre on 0800 496 734.

    How does Te Kāuru link with the Ruamāhanga Whaitua?

    The Ruamāhanga Whaitua Committee has finalised and submitted a set of recommendations to GWRC in August 2018 on the ways in which people in the catchment want to manage their water to improve their water quality and to implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

    The Te Kāuru process has been carried out in parallel with the Whaitua process and it’s important that Te Kāuru gives effect to the Whaitua outcomes. Te Kāuru sets the direction of our flood and erosion management activities in the rivers of the upper Ruamāhanga catchment. This puts Te Kāuru at the front line of implementing some of the Whaitua recommendations.

    How does this Floodplain Management Plan link with the Waiohine Floodplain Management Plan?

    The Waiohine Floodplain Management Plan is a separate Floodplain Management Plan (FMP) for a separate river catchment downstream of the Te Kāuru catchment. Although the two FMPs are separate, the proposed governance structure will bring together representatives from schemes covered in Te Kāuru and the Waiohine FMP into one Upper Ruamāhanga Valley Floodplain Management Advisory Committee.

    Why are you proposing to change the way flood and erosion risks are managed?

    The Te Kāuru Upper Ruamāhanga Floodplain Management Plan Subcommittee has identified values that they believe the community holds, which are encapsulated by the following: landscape, recreational, heritage, cultural, land-use and ecology. Many of these values are focused on the natural character of the river.

    This shift in management style therefore needs to reflect the values, hence the proposed approach of giving the river more room to behave in a more natural way.

    Will it cost me as a riverside landowner more? Will it affect my rates?

    The Floodplain Management Plan proposes a change to the funding model. The new model sees the funding for the works to be spread across the district (i.e. a districtwide approach), instead of the current model in which riverside landowners pay different amounts into a scheme reserve (targeted approach). There are also a number of major projects proposed over the long term implementation of Te Kāuru. This will mean that the community as a whole will be contributing to the funding, resulting in a rise of rates, but will mean that riverside landowners will almost certainly be paying less.