Heathcote River flooding work delayed to address other projects

Work to address flooding issues along the Heathcote River will be delayed to allow projects to...
Work to address flooding issues along the Heathcote River will be delayed to allow projects to address flooding in Christchurch’s east to happen sooner. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Work to address flooding affecting properties alongside the Heathcote River will be delayed in favour of similar projects in Christchurch’s east.

Christchurch City Council has approved $12 million to go towards addressing flooding on Pages Rd, Wainoni, which has been an issue for 10 years.

It wasn’t going to fund the works to fix the problem for another four years – but voted to bring the funding forward to start next year.

The funds were originally earmarked for projects including addressing flooding which affects properties close to the Heathcote River but these will now be delayed.

City councillor Tim Scandrett voted against the Christchurch east project and fellow councillor Yani Johanson abstained from voting. Both asked for more information on the delay this will cause for these other projects.

Tim Scandrett.
Tim Scandrett.
“It did say in the report [city council] that it would have to delay other works, and what are the delays, what’s the timeframe? That wasn’t clear in the report,” said Scandrett.

He said the Heathcote River issues should be prioritised first because more properties are affected by flooding there than on Pages Rd.

“If you look at the [Pages Rd] project, it’s largely looking at an area that is red zoned and has no houses on it but the flooding there does effect Pages Rd and Anzac Drive.”

Johanson agrees with Scandrett.

“Because there’s not a lot of information about those other projects, other than just to say they’ll be delayed, I thought that’s pretty unfair on those communities who have been expecting work to happen, have been told that work’s going to happen,” he said.

City councillor Sara Templeton lives in Heathcote and represents the area. She voted in favour of approving the Christchurch east flooding projects.

She voted this way because some work to address flooding beside the Heathcote River has already been done and reduced this issue but nothing has been done in the east. However, she does not favour this project over the Heathcote one.

“Currently, there’s work still under way in the Heathcote catchment, whereas the other [Christchurch east] area has had zero work.”

Heathcote Valley Community Association chairman Lewis Low said the work that has happened in Heathcote has reduced flooding, so he understands Templeton’s reasoning.

Said city council stormwater and waterways programme manager Keith Davison: “In this case, the Heathcote low stopbanks project’s budget has been slipped back by a year.

“Significant works on the Heathcote are already reducing flooding risk and impact. These works include dredging, bank stabilisation, and storage basins – which are all either completed or well advanced,” he said.

The Christchurch east project will involve building a new stopbank and stormwater pond and wetland in the triangular area of land between Pages Road, Anzac Drive and the Avon River.

City councillor Phil Mauger got so fed up with the flooding situation on Pages Rd, he went in with a digger last month and dug a trench – it fixed the flooding overnight.

The council blocked the trench as it was deemed a safety hazard and launched an official investigation of Mauger’s actions.

Flooding on Pages Rd in July. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Flooding on Pages Rd in July. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Mauger said he understands Scandrett and Johanson’s concerns and he views Heathcote flooding as an important issue.

He said he just relieved something will finally be done to addresses the east’s flooding problems.

 

 

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