Henley residents could face higher regional council rates if
they push for more protection against the effects of
Otago Regional Council staff met a group of Henley residents
recently to report back on their investigations into possible
action to ease the effects of flooding from the Taieri River
on the small settlement.
Council engineering and natural hazards director Gavin Palmer
said one of the things the council could easily do was make
improvements to the flaps which sealed the culverts during a
flood to stop backflow from the Taieri River.
''They don't seal shut well enough and leak, so they can be
The council had also suggested removing the flood bank's
willows, which contributed to debris, and replanting it with
''We'll also take a more proactive approach to check ahead of
an imminent flood to ensure the flaps are properly closed and
The work and its costs would need to be worked into the
council's next annual plan, due out in March.
Henley resident Kerri Hooper said he was frustrated by the
council not having already done the maintenance work as it
had known about the problems since the 2010 flood, which
inundated his home.
The council said the work would be done in one to three
years, he said.
''It's rubbish. I'm quite prepared to take legal action ...
if they haven't done it in the next three to six months.''
Henley residents were subject to a targeted rate under the
lower Taieri flood protection scheme but fell outside the
West Taieri drainage scheme.
The other issue was the water that came off the hills behind
the settlement, which ponded and did not drain away until the
Taieri River dropped sufficiently.
Dr Palmer said a low bank could be built to control the flow
of the water over land to minimise the impact on homes and
businesses until it could drain away.
But as that was a flood-works enhancement it could not be
included under the current rating regime.
''What the community needs to keep in mind is that it will
only be partially effective as it's only part of the
Because of that issue, the council wanted a ''steer'' from
the community on the proposals so it could either do further
investigations with the aim of including a proposal in next
year's annual plan or drop the idea.
If they took the next step, the community would have further
opportunities to provide feedback to the council through the
annual plan consultation process.
''Or they could decide to park it and think about it more,''
Dr Palmer said.