7 Jul 2019

Auckland councillors to vote on measures to prevent future floods in Piha

9:30 pm on 7 July 2019

Auckland Council staff are recommending doing nothing to prevent future floods in Piha, which have been described as potentially life threatening.

Flooded Piha camping ground

The Piha camping ground was flooded in February 2018 after a heavy deluge caused a local stream to burst its banks. Photo: Facebook / Piha Domain camping ground

Councillors will vote on Wednesday to decide what changes to make in response to the floods which swept through the beach-side settlement in February and April last year, damaging dozens of homes.

The council had initially considered multi-million dollar solutions like building a dam, diverting a stream or raising the height of the most at-risk street.

But staff now recommended councillors vote for the cheapest and simplest options for managing the risk - increasing the flood warning time and improving the way it warns people.

In a report, the staff note that option will not mitigate the flood safety risk as effectively as the expensive, engineering options.

"The preferred approach will not significantly reduce the volume or velocity of flood waters in an extreme rainfall event," the report said.

But by improving warnings, the risk of death and injury will be lessened, it said.

The council consulted with the community on options early this year.

Building a tunnel to divert water from homes would cost at least $45 million, dams up to $49m and raising Glenesk Road $1.2m.

By contrast, improving the speed of warning would be $300,000 and cost another $50,000 a year to run.

The report said, as a whole, the community did not support the expensive engineering options.

  • No buy-out option in offer to flood-hit Piha homeowners
  • Piha community may have to help fund flooding projects
  • Auckland Council's Piha flood risk assessment reviewed
  • Piha flooding: 'If it's raining you're terrified in your own home' - Residents frustrated at further report delays