16 February 2017
Horizons Regional Council is inviting the public to discuss flood protection in Whanganui later this month.
Group manager river management Ramon Strong says having the conversation with the community has been a while in the making but he is looking forward to getting it off the ground.
“A lot of time, effort and resources have gone into undertaking priority work directly after the flood and collating sufficient information to have an informed discussion,” he says.
“We’re intending to outline what we’ve learnt from the 2015 flood, what this means for existing flood protection and asking the community to tell us whether additional measures need to be considered. Horizons has no preconceptions about what should happen next and are looking to the community to guide us from here.”
Mr Strong says it will be a complex conversation, with no easy answers, but Horizons “will do our very best to ensure the community has the information they need to make an informed decision”.
“We want to make sure people are well informed about what level of flood protection currently exists, what the risks are now that we’ve had a large flood and what the potential costs could be if alternative options are considered.”
Consultation will begin on Wednesday 22 February and finish on Sunday 5 March. It will include public meetings, a site at the River Traders Market and a pop-up stall at Whanganui public library. Feedback can be received at those events, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling free phone 0508 800 800.
Whanganui councillor and chair of Horizons’ catchment operations committee David Cotton says he’s keen to hear from as many different parts of the community as possible.
“If the community signals that they do want to consider alternative options, this will impact everybody in Whanganui, not just those that live by the river,” he says.
“For this reason I encourage everyone to participate and let us know what they think. Any action will be built into the 2018-28 Long-term Plan but this conversation determines if that is necessary.”
For more information about the consultation please see www.horizons.govt.nz. The community event dates are as follows:
Wednesday 22 February 7pm – Whanganui War Memorial Centre.
Saturday 25 February 8.30am – River Traders Market.
Monday 27 February 7pm – Whanganui Girls’ College.
Saturday 4 March 8.30am – River Traders Market.