Stoush brewing on West Coast about Waiho River options
The West Coast Regional Council is considering removing the Waiho River's stopbanks at Franz Josef and letting it revert to its old flood plain, potentially swallowing up thousands of hectares of farmland. But the Westland District Council and locals are vehemently opposed to the idea, unless central government is prepared to stump up millions in compensation. University of Canterbury Professor Tim Davies has been carrying out investigations and research on the Waiho River since the early 1990s. He tells Kate Gudsell that he advised the regional council two years ago the only practical long-term strategy for managing flood risk on the Waiho is to allow the river to occupy the whole of its original floodplain.