Co-funding for the Westport Advanced Flood Warning System
During the COVID-19 lockdown the Government announced an economic stimulus package which included funding for resilience projects that were “shovel ready”. The West Coast Regional Council submitted for $45.1 million of funding to the Crown Infrastructure Projects fund for projects across the West Coast which included a potential project for an advanced flood warning system to achieve up to eight hours warning for the evacuation of Westport.
This project had been previously prioritised by the Westport 2100 Working Group.
Outcome of funding application
Up to $400,000 of funding is available for the advanced flood warning system project. However, co-funding from the community of $155,000 is required in order to secure this $400,000. Council is proposing the $155,000 to be funded via the establishment of a Westport Rating District.
Note: If the required co-funding is not secured for the advanced flood warning system project project then the project will not proceed. Every $1 invested by the community attracts $2.58 from Central Government (up to $400,000).
Proposed advanced flood warning system project
Achieving eight hours advanced warning notice for the evacuation of Westport was the number one short term priority recommended by the Westport 2100 Working Group. Council engaged NIWA to undertake a feasibility analysis evaluating whether this was an achievable timeframe. NIWA completed a scoping analysis in 2019, and identified that while it can be achieved, a number of recommendations to ensure a reliable eight- hour warning is required for it to be implemented.
The recommendations from the NIWA report include:
- An additional telemetry site to be built at Mt Buckland
- A new forecasting computer model would need to be built
- At least five years of data would need to be collected to improve the forecast
- Accurate flood forecasts for decision making would require accurate weather, river and sea level forecasts.
Proposed Rating District Boundary
To ensure that the required co-funding is shared by all benefitting parties, it is proposed that the Rating District boundary extends from Carters Beach to Beach Road at Fairdown and to Te Kuha (see attached map). Download a copy of the map here
Westport Rating District co-funding of $155,000 is a cost of $7.90 inclusive of GST/$100,000 of Capital Value over a three-year loan term @ 1.5%pa. The final interest rate will be that prevailing at the time of the borrowing.
It is proposed that a Rating District is formed under the Local Government Act 2002 and governed by the newly established Joint Committee to make future recommendations to Council. The Westport Joint Committee would be comprised of Buller District Council Mayor, two Buller District Councillors, the West Coast Regional Council Chair, two Buller constituency West Coast Regional Councillors, and a representative from the New Zealand Transport Agency and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae.
Benefits of a Rating District
A Rating District simplifies access to subsidies from Central Government for regional infrastructure projects, low interest rate loans, insurance for flood protection assets and dedicated river engineering resources and advice.
How can I find out more?
Information Drop-in Sessions
More detailed information on the advanced flood warning system proposal can be viewed and discussed at two “drop in” sessions, at the Green Room in the NBS Building on Palmerston Street, Westport on 1 October from 10.00am to 6.00pm and on 2 October from 9.00am to 2.00pm. Councillors and staff from the West Coast Regional Council will be available for one on one discussion.
How can I provide feedback?
Complete a submission form online now or download and fill out a copy. Click here for a submission form.
- Post your survey forms to: West Coast Regional Council PO Box 66, Greymouth 7840.
- Drop it into our office: 388 Main South Road, Paroa (8am-5pm weekdays).
- Email to: email@example.com
Submission forms must be received by Council no later than 5.00pm, Friday 9 October 2020.
Council will review the feedback provided and make a decision on whether or not to proceed with establishing the Rating District to secure the co-funding required to undertake the advanced flood warning system project.