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Protection for historic urupa under flood plan

A new flood management plan seeks to arrest flooding at Te Uru o Tane urupa. PHOTO/FILE

Good progress has been made on developing a plan for flood management on the Waiohine River, with the Greytown community endorsing the work carried out so far by the Project Team on flood protection options.

Once work is completed a draft Flood Management Plan will go through a formal consultation process in which the community, including previous submitters on the 2016 draft plan, will be able to make submissions.

Meanwhile planning for drainage and flood protection improvements at the Te Uru o Tane urupa by the State Highway 2 bridge [Black Bridge] is well advanced and will be one of the first initiatives under the plan.

The urupa is flood prone due to its proximity to the Waiohine River, Mangatarere Stream and Beef Creek, and the SH2 embankment which ponds water behind it.

It is also poorly drained with high groundwater levels at times, creating large puddles in the car park.

As a result, drainage improvements will be made in the urupa’s car park along with removal of the northern stopbanks on both Beef Creek and Mangatarere Stream to improve the flow of floodwater away from the Matarawa Road area.

A short section of new stop bank and drain will also be built on the western side of the urupa, on land owned by Greater Wellington.

“We’ve worked closely with Ngati Kahukuraawhitia on how we can improve the situation,” says Greater Wellington regional councillor and Wairarapa Committee chairwoman Adrienne Staples.

“It is generally accepted that roading and flood mitigation works in the 1960s resulted in changes that made the urupa more subject to flooding and worsened the drainage at the site.

“It’s about time we moved on improving the situation and that’s the focus of the work.

“The outcome will be a protected site which will properly respect the location’s use as an urupa.”

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