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Published: 2014-07-17 00:00:00

Good progress is being made by a new working group set up to help manage ongoing flooding issues at Graham’s Creek on the Coromandel.

The group’s establishment follows the Waikato Regional Council’s decision to budget up to $600,000 for flood protection works this financial year and Thames-Coromandel District Council’s commitment in its 2014-2015 Annual Plan to upgrade the Manaia Road causeway bridge. One of the conditions attached to the regional council’s funding is that a joint working group refines and confirms the works programme.

The working group is made up of technical staff from the regional council and TCDC, regional councillors Stuart Husband and Clyde Graf, and community board chair Bob Renton, as well as six landowner representatives.

The primary responsibility of the group is to look at how project costs can be reduced while still providing sound flood management. The group will also endeavour to balance factors such as community and ecological values.

At its inaugural meeting, the working group agreed to its terms of reference, discussed the concepts behind the existing flood proposal and set out the way forward for future meetings. The group has agreed to work collaboratively, in good faith and with open communication.

Julie Beaufill, the regional council’s Hauraki-Coromandel division manager, said there were various challenges for the working group to meet, including reaching agreement on a programme of works in time to enable works to begin this summer, as required by the regional and district councils.

“The working party has made a good start. Now it will be important for us all to maintain good progress so that we can get this important project underway.”