The Wellington Region Chambers of Commerce are concerned by reports that nearly 200 of the Wellington region's stopbanks and floodgates are in a poor or very poor condition, with some at imminent threat of collapse.
While Greater Wellington Regional Council have said that “no critical assets or private property was at risk”, and that the “overall general asset condition has improved”, the real concern is the reduction in the condition of the region’s critical assets, both the stopbanks and floodgates. Stopbanks rating ‘very good to moderate’ have reduced from 84% in 2016 to 66%, and floodgates rated ‘very good to moderate’ have reduced from 86% in 2016 to 71%. Furthermore, the total number of stopbanks rated ‘poor and very poor’ have increased from 15% in 2016 to 32% in 2017, while the total number of floodgates ‘rated poor and very poor’ have increased from 14% in 2016 to 28% in 2017.
“We urge Greater Wellington Regional Council to get on with the work to upgrade and repair,” says John Milford, on behalf of the five Wellington Region Chambers of Commerce.
“The good news is that the stopbanks and floodgates issues have been identified, are included in development schemes, or have had money allocated in council budgets for improvements. The real message here is that Greater Wellington Regional Council needs to get on with the work – and quickly.
“We know that the Wellington region has come under additional rainfall pressure during 2017, and is already above the average yearly total. This heavier-than-expected rainfall comes after two major weather events in 2015 and in 2016 that cut the region off due to excessive and extensive flooding.
"We have got to ensure the region's resilience for those who live and work here, and ensure it’s 'BAU' as quickly as possible following any events."
For more information contact: John Milford, 027 580 3064