09 Jan, 2022
A new floodgate planned for the Raupo drainage scheme can proceed after the Kaipara District Council agreed, in their December meeting, to redirect funding from the Te Kopuru stopbank project to build the floodgate.
Floodgate G, to the south of Ruawai, is one of two floodgates that were initially planned. It will protect a large area of highly productive land from being inundated with salt water. Stopping the salt water at the entrance to the canal minimises the need to raise around 30km of stop banks along both sides of the canals.
Council applied to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for $20 million to build two floodgates to protect the Raupo area and raise 13km of stopbanks between Dargaville to Te Kopuru. Of the $6 million received, MBIE allocated $2.5 million for the two floodgates, and $3.5 million for the stop banks.
Consolidating the funding will enable the Council to complete one floodgate and avoid the need to pay back the $700,000 already spent on floodgate design to MBIE, who require funding to be returned if councils are not able to complete projects described in their contracts.
Mayor Craig Jepson says building floodgate G was the best way to draw value from the funding council has.
“We’ve focussed funding where it will protect the largest land area, and the most significant infrastructure. That includes State Highway 12, which provides a vital link from Dargaville across the district,” says Mayor Jepson.
Anin Nama, General Manager Infrastructure Services, says none of the projects have been stopped and the Council will be in a good position to continue the stopbank and floodgate projects when future funding becomes available.
“This decision allows us to progress an integral piece of infrastructure to protect some of Kaipara’s most productive farming area. Completing floodgate G also builds on the work we are already doing with the Ruawai/Raupo community through our Adaptive Pathway pilot programme, planning how to adapt to rising sea levels,” says Anin.
The total cost of the floodgate is expected to be around $4.6 million. The remaining $1.4 million is to be spent on raising approximately 2km of the stopbanks to a height of 3.5m.