Hokitika and Hari Hari floodwalls on cards

3:03 pm on 12 August 2021

The West Coast Regional Council's Long Term Plan includes options for major work to protect properties from the Hokitika and Wanganui rivers.

Flood hit parts of Hokitika.

Floods hit parts of Hokitika in July. Photo: RNZ / Sarah Robson

The bed of the Wanganui, near Hari Hari, has risen significantly and that is expected to continue for at least the next four to six years, the council said.

"Council is proposing an upgrade of the full flood protection assets of the rating district, raising these by 1m. The estimated cost of these works is $5.7 million," the council said.

"The work will commence in the 2021/22 year and be completed in the 2022/23 year, funded by a term loan on behalf of the rating district and the loan serviced by a targeted rate."

There is a risk of a flood during construction, and the council will need to take out infrastructure insurance.

The $5.7 million project would cost affected ratepayers as follows: Class A - $586.95 per $100,000 of land value per year, Class B - $410.87 per $100,000 of land value, Class C - $264.13, Class D - $58.70, Class U1 - $293.48, and Class U2 - $293.48.

In the Long Term Plan section on Hokitika flood protection, the council notes its decision to merge and extend the Hokitika and Kaniere rating district boundaries following consultation in 2020.

"Significant feedback was received from the community about further extending the boundary to include new areas of subdevelopment in proximity to this area, recognising the direct and indirect benefits this protection infrastructure provides to the wider community."

Those ratepayers not located within the current Hokitika rating district do not pay a targeted rate for flood and erosion infrastructure, and extending the boundary would ensure that the benefits of this infrastructure were more fairly distributed, the council said.

"There is no intent to change the boundary for the 2021/22 financial year. If adopted it will come into effect in the 2022/23 financial year."

Ratepayers in the extended boundary would pay $31.54 plus GST per $100,000 of Capital Value per year. Maintenance costs would be $19.99 plus GST per $100,000 of Capital Value per year.

Option 2 is to retain the status quo with no change to the current rating district boundary.

"For those within the current Hokitika rating district boundary, it will cost $34.27 plus GST per $100,000 of Capital Value. For those outside the current Hokitika rating district, it will cost nothing."

The maintenance costs for those within the current boundary would be $21.72 per $100,000 of Capital Value, while those outside would pay nothing.

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