Home » August 2021 »Regular Features » Currently Reading:

Regional Council notes

August 24, 2021 August 2021, Regular Features No Comments

“Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”.  This well-known line from ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ could have easily applied to the Wairarapa recently.  Unlike the Ancient Mariner though, we weren’t becalmed near the equator but rather inundated by persistent rain, courtesy of a turbulent weather system, causing localised flooding and high lake levels.

It wasn’t the worst storm we had experienced by any stretch of the imagination but it did serve to remind us that we have little control over what nature delivers.  It also reminded us of the fragility of many of the region’s infrastructure assets as roads succumbed to slips and bridges were closed due to high river levels.

The wild weather affected many people in various ways and at a recent meeting around the governance of Wairarapa Moana, Greater Wellington was challenged around its management of the lake levels which are dictated by, amongst other things, a Water Conservation Order.

When I enquired as to the actual water levels Graeme Campbell, Manager of Flood Protection, provided the following comment.

“We will have to check the recorded lake levels to be able to confirm what they were during the period being commented on but there is never any reason for us to elevate those levels unless those in Lake Onoke are elevated due to the closing of the mouth to the sea. The only time we open the gates to elevate levels in Wairarapa Moana is when we are unable to open Lake Onoke and the levels there are so high they are causing problems to those around the Lake. The levels may have been high but it would not be because we kept them high, more it would be as a result of high seas stopping us from opening the mouth and high river flows.”

Managing the water levels in both lakes is definitely a challenge as there are so many aspects to consider.  Originally when the Barrage Gates and the extended Lower Valley Flood Scheme first opened it was all about protecting people and their land from hazardous flooding and that is still the main reason for the scheme at present.  Increasing the spotlight on the environment and importance of wetlands, not to mention Treaty Settlements, is however putting on pressure to change the relationship we have with Wairarapa Moana and its surrounds.

These gnarly issues will need to be addressed as the consents for both the gates and the scheme as a whole require renewing in the not too distant future.  If the directives from central government so far are anything to go by it will be a very different conversation to the one that saw the scheme built in the first place.  The other thing to consider is the proposed scrapping of the Resource Management Act and what will the legislation look like that replaces it?  It will dictate whether or not we have such flood protection as currently exists.

Adrienne Staples

Comment on this Article:

Sports

Watch out Cobra Kai!  Local karate club takes out Champion Dojo Trophy

On Saturday 12 June, Wairarapa’s Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate (OGKWI) club competed against karate clubs from across the lower North Island to win the overall Kāpiti Karate Academy Championships.    13 karate students from South Wairarapa travelled to Kāpiti to compete against students from 12 other karate clubs in kata (technique), …

Bruce Henderson – LIFE MEMBER

At the recent Club Day of MRFC Bruce Henderson was awarded Life Membership to the Club, a well deserving recipient. Bruce started playing rugby in the JAB grade and played right through to a Senior, where he played 3 seasons (this was cut short as his son Nigel was very …

Junior Football

Martinborough Junior Football Club is halfway through the 2021 season, so it is a good opportunity to provide an update. The Club is made up of two parts – Juniors (4 to 13 year olds) and Seniors. All of our teams play in competitions run by Capital Football. Capital Football …

Regular Features

Regional Council notes

“Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”.  This well-known line from ‘The Rime …

Recycling collections

Wednesday 11th August Glass  Wednesday 18th August Wheelie bins Wednesday 25th  August Glass 

News from First Church

Through winter cold, through bitter wind and biting frost the silent seeds of spring wll …

Maree’s musings

FROM OUT THERE … Space travel’s been in the news lately. Of course, it’s nothing …

Letters – Community Boards

Recently my husband and I took up the invite from the Mayor, June edition of …

Letters – Secretive decisions

2019 election Mayor Beijen stated: “I am standing for South Wairarapa Mayor to bring back …

How well do we know people in our community

Rex Mc Intosh  Click Suite, Magician and Technical Wizard Rex is one of the cofounders …

Recent Comments