Regional Resilience - being prepared to cope with emergencies
We have an important role to play readying our region for adverse events. This means providing support to you and your family, protecting core infrastructure such as water supply and public transport from the effects of emergency events, and making sure we’re in a position to recover.
We need to be confident we have the right systems and structures in place given the increased frequency and severity of events.
We administer and resource the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO), which is jointly funded by all councils within the region. WREMO plays a leadership role in regional resilience.
We invest a large amount in providing critical flood protection infrastructure, including stopbanks on our main arterial rivers and barrage gates at Lake Wairarapa. Our plan allows for continued maintenance to make sure this infrastructure is maintained and improved.
Before we invest in flood protection infrastructure, we work with the community to develop flood management plans. This helps us understand risks in your area and consider how they should be managed. We are continuing to develop two floodplain management plans in the Wairarapa – for the Waiohine River including Greytown and the surrounding area, and for the Te Kāura Upper Ruamāhanga area. Over the next 10 years we will continue to implement floodplain management plans that have been approved in the Hutt, Wellington and Kāpiti areas.
RiverLink – a key flood management programme
A key project for Greater Wellington is RiverLink. This is a joint project with the Hutt City Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency to protect the Hutt CBD, and areas downstream, from the effects of a major flood. The plan includes widening the river and constructing larger stopbanks, contributing to the regeneration of the city centre, and improving transport options that connect central Lower Hutt to State Highway 2.
RiverLink will deliver the levels of service agreed and consulted on as part of the floodplain management plan some years ago and confirmed through the Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee. More recent consultation on the scoping of the RiverLink project showed a high level of support (85 percent of the community) to proceed with the work as quickly as possible.
No major changes are proposed for this programme, but the overall costs have changed. More money is needed to buy additional property for the river widening scheme because of the buoyant property market. The total cost of RiverLink to Greater Wellington is now $125 million (up from $94 million), which will be funded through a loan. The loan will be repaid through rates and rental money collected from property acquired for the project. Surplus land will be sold at the end of the construction.
The timing and overall affordability of this project will be further considered through the Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee and any changes would be the subject of further consultation.
Improving the resilience of Wellington’s lifeline services
The Lifelines project is an initiative designed to improve the resilience of our region’s utility networks (electricity supply, communication networks, transport and water supply) against natural hazards. This is a joint project between central government agencies, local government and utility providers. An initial business case is being prepared for completion in 2018. We have anticipated that follow-on work will be required and we have made an allowance for a contribution of $400,000 over two years – 2018/19 to 2019/20.
Overall for this area the level of service is proposed to increase over the 10 years of the plan.