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Jim Cooke Park Project

Jim Cooke Park Project

Updated 25 June 2019 2:42pm

What are we doing here?

The project involves increasing the height and length of the Jim Cooke Park stop bank that it gives a level of protection to the residents behind the stop bank that would otherwise be flooded in a major flood event that has a one percent chance of happening in any year. 

Why are we doing it?

The river has a history of flooding. Flowing in from the western foothills of the Tararua ranges, the Waikanae River is joined by five other rivers and streams as it enters the floodplain.

In 2005, the river rose to one-in-80-year levels and residents of 20 houses in Otaihanga had to be evacuated. At Jim Cooke Park, the flood waters nearly went over the stop bank. Built in 1957, the stop bank fell short of modern day standards and would have failed to protect from a big flood that has one percent chance of happening in any year.

How are we doing it?

In consultation with the community, we determined the best way to upgrade flood defences, and started reconstructing the stopbank at Jim Cooke Park in early 2017. Besides strengthening and increasing the height of the stopbank, gravel that had built up in the bed of the river was removed. This gravel was then used for reconstructing the stopbank.

The upgraded stopbank is built to hold up against floods that have one percent chance of occurring in any year. The cost of reconstructing the stopbank was $1.8 million.

Where are we up to?

The project is in the restoration phase. This means the main work is done and we are tidying up the loose ends. This includes: repairing things that are not quite right, planting native trees along the river, boundary adjustments and maintenance requirements with the District Council.