Coromandel Peninsula Project
The Peninsula Project is about improving the health of the environment and reducing flood risks on the Coromandel Peninsula.
The project was established in 2004 to address river and erosion issues from the mountains to the sea by integrating three key areas of work - flood protection, river and catchment management, and animal pest control.
The project was a joint initiative between the Waikato Regional Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council, the Department of Conservation and Hauraki Maori Trust Board.
Since commencement, the project has made significant progress towards achieving its goals and evolved to include works and services in the coastal marine area.
On this page: About the project, what we've done, benefits of this work, funding, newsletters, more information.
About the project
The Coromandel Peninsula is known for its beautiful environment but riverbank erosion, debris blocking rivers and streams, the effect of animal pests on forest health and storms have caused wide-spread problems for its communities.
The Peninsula Project aims to improve these issues, having far reaching benefits for both the environment and the people who live and holiday on the peninsula. It will:
- better protect people, property and essential services from flooding
- reduce sedimentation in rivers, harbours and estuaries
- improve water quality
- reduce animal pests such as possums and goats
- increase the number and diversity of native plants and animals
- help stabilise catchments.
View an enlarged map of the Peninsula Project's boundaries by clicking on the thumbnail map.
What we've done
Waikato Regional Council staff work with landowners and communities on a number of projects. Some examples of completed projects are listed below:
- Thames Coast flood mitigation – the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula (the ‘Thames coast’) contains many short steep catchments with streams that carry high quantities of sediment during floods. The 'Weather Bomb' event in June 2002 and the Easter flood event in April 2003 emphasised the urgent need to address flooding and catchment management issues for communities on the Thames coast. During these flood events, one person died and about $13 million dollars worth of damage was done to private homes, campgrounds and local infrastructure (such as roads and bridges). Check out our Weather Bomb Technical Report. Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council worked with communities and stakeholders following the weather bomb and flooding.
- Flood mitigation schemes are now in place at Tararu, Te Puru, Waiomu/Pohue, Tapu and Coromandel town. These schemes involved property purchase and retirement, construction of stopbanks and floodwalls and include ongoing stream maintenance. They provide a level of security for residents and ratepayers and support key infrastructure and service link.
- Graham’s Creek flood mitigation- Graham’s Creek is a small stream draining into the northern Tairua Harbour on the Coromandel Peninsula. The smaller flood events Tairua frequently experiences currently affect around 50 properties in the Graham’s Creek area. That number more than doubles in a significant event. Waikato Regional Council has been working with the Graham’s Creek community to address flooding and work is currently underway to construct stopbanking and an improved floodway for this community. The works will provide up to 50 year, and in some areas 100 year, flood event protection. In addition to this ecosourced native plants will be planted along at least one side of stream and drainage channels and the existing wetland area will be extended, providing important environmental benefits.Click here for the latest newsletter.
- Developing harbour and catchment management plans – working with communities, iwi and agencies to develop comprehensive guiding documents to help improve key harbours and their catchments. Plans have been completed for the Whangamata, Wharekawa, Tairua and Whangapoua harbours. (add link to plans)
- Hikuai Te Kouka Grove – restoration of this alluvial floodplain wetland near Hikuai is an ongoing project in association with Ngati Hei, the community and the district council. The objectives are to increase native vegetation and reduce weeds and pest animal impacts on native flora and fauna. Significant weed control has been undertaken over the last four years and thousands of native plants have been planted.
- Waikawau Bay wetland – located on the north east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula work is underway to restore 75 hectares of wetland. Community groups, such as the Moehau Environment Group, are undertaking habitat restoration and predator programmes. The result is many rare New Zealand wetland birds making a comeback, including the matuku (Australasian bittern) and pateke (brown teal). Waikato Regional Council is supporting these community efforts by carrying out pest plant control on two invasive grass species; saltwater paspalum, which chokes up the estuary and smothers native salt marsh plants, and pampas grass which can easily dominate the higher areas of wetland. We also provide native plants for projects such as the Children’s Forest and Waikanae Stream.
- Restoration projects – around 70 landowners are currently involved in restoration projects which include fencing, planting and pest control. Approximately 20,000 native plants are planted annually along streambanks, around wetlands and in bush fragments.
- Manaia river erosion protection – the Manaia Stream was realigned and a 650 tonne rock wall and earth bank constructed to hold the stream in place. School children, other community members and Waikato Regional Council staff planted around 1000 plants on the site to help stabilise the banks. This work reduced sediment entering the river and protected access to the marae.
- Stream maintenance works – built up silt, sand, gravel, plant pests and other blockages are regularly removed from a number of streams around the peninsula.
- Mangrove management – where supported by a harbour and catchment management plan, Waikato Regional Council has applied for resource consents to remove mature mangroves. Mangrove removal has been undertaken in the Whangamata, Wharekawa and Tairua harbours. Consents are subject to monitoring and mitigation requirements
- Animal pest control on the Thames Coast – Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation completed possum and goat control over nearly 74,000 hectares of Crown and private land and this work is now in a maintenance phase.
Benefits of this work
River management works help stabilise river and stream banks through fencing and planting, and removing gravel, debris and blockages. The benefits of this work are:
- less erosion and flooding – clearing trees, logs or stumps helps prevent channel blockages that can cause erosion and flooding
- less sedimentation – stabilising riverbanks helps decrease sediment and allows the river water to flow freely
- river courses become more stable due to reduced erosion
- improved pasture quality due to less flooding, erosion and sedimentation
- increased recreational value due to clearance of logs
- a consistent and defined maintenance standard – inconsistent maintenance standards can lead to flooding of adjacent properties
Soil conservation works stabilise land by preventing soil erosion. They also reduce the effects of land-related hazards such as flooding and subsidence. Works include land management practices such as planting trees on hills and stream banks, retiring erosion-prone land and fencing gully areas and waterways. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced property damage
- improved land productivity
- improved drinking water quality for people and livestock
- improved water quality for swimming and boating
- reduced slip damage to roads, fences, water supplies and buildings
- improved habitat for aquatic animals and plants
- increased biodiversity from land returned to native vegetation
- a more attractive environment.
Flood protection works reduce the risk of flooding and improve drainage. Traditionally this has been achieved through structural methods such as stopbanks, but we are increasingly using a whole of catchment approach. This approach combines structural methods in the lower catchment with non-structural methods such as soil conservation works and animal pest control in the upper catchment. Removing houses and raising the floor levels of houses in high risk areas can also form part of the solution. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced risk to life
- direct protection of urban property
- reduced damage to transport and utilities
- reduced monetary and human costs associated with diverting or delaying traffic
- investment security – flood control schemes provide security for development
- economic benefits – protection of businesses and the economic flow-on effects
- social benefits – peace of mind, security of access.
Animal pest control
Controlling the number of feral goats and possums on public conservation and private land in the upper catchments is essential to reducing the amount of sediment and debris carried downstream when it rains heavily. That's because these animal pests have destroyed forest areas and vegetation in many of the peninsula's upper catchments, making the soil unstable and increasing erosion and run-off. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced erosion and improved stability
- reduced run-off
- increased number and diversity of native plants and birds.
Works and services in the coastal marine area (CMA)
The type of works and services we undertake in the CMA include estuarine wetland protection and enhancement, mangrove management and stream mouth opening. This activity also includes the development of harbour and catchment management plans. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced sediment entering estuaries and harbours
- reduced flooding through the clearance of stream mouths
- improved recreational access and safety
- improved habitat for native wildlife.
This project work is funded by a combination of the following:
- Waikato Regional Council ratepayers, via the general rate.
- A rate spread across Coromandel Peninsula ratepayers. This comprises a capital component and a flat rate per property component, split equally.
- A targeted rate which helps pay for local flood protection work or mangrove management. Under existing policy, local communities and land owners are required to fund 75 per cent of capital expenditure for any flood protection and river management work where engineering solutions are needed and 65 per cent of the total cost for removal of mangroves from harbours.
Financial assistance is available to help land owners undertake soil conservation (erosion control), animal pest control and river management works on their properties. Under existing policy, land owners pay up to 65 per cent of the cost of this work. This is often in-kind, with the land owner contributing their share with their labour, for example. The remainder is funded through council by the wider community.
The Peninsula Project - what it means for ratepayers
(1120 kb, 160 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Graham's Creek newsletter, August 2016
Tapu newsletter, March 2015
Tapu feedback form, March 2015
Graham's Creek newsletter, April 2015
Graham's Creek newsletter, November 2014 [PDF, 1.7 MB]
Graham's Creek newsletter, July 2014
Graham's Creek newsletter, April 2014
Graham's Creek submission form, April 2014
Te Puru newsletter, July 2013 - What the council decided: Te Puru flood protection rate
Te Puru newsletter, March 2013 - Rating options out now for your feedback
Tapu newsletter, March 2013 - Stream maintenance update
Graham's Creek newsletter - December 2012
Important information for Te Puru ratepayers - December 2012
Tairua submission form
Graham's Creek newsletter
Graham's Creek newsletter - November 2011 (637kb)
Tapu flood protection update (298kb)
Coromandel flood protection update, July 2010
Tapu flood protection update, July 2010
Te Puru flood protection update, July 2010
Waiomu-Pohue flood protection update, July 2010
Last chance to have your say - a newsletter to ratepayers in Coromandel town and Hauraki Rd.
Newsletter to ratepayers in Coromandel town and Hauraki Rd, March 2009
(2282 kb, 326 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Submission form Coromandel town flood protection proposal
(191 kb, 27 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Te Puru newsletter, July 2007 - Proposed stop-log gate at Te Puru. What council decided
Te Puru newsletter, March 2007 - Stop-log gate proposal
How we propose to fund stream maintenance - a newsletter to ratepayers in the Graham's Creek area.
Newsletter to ratepayers in the Graham's Creek area, March 2007
(1607 kb, 229 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Submission form for Graham's Creek ratepayers. Have your say!
(65 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Proposed flood protection works and submission form
Information for Graham's Creek ratepayers and residents
(430 kb, 61 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Confirmed flood protection works
Flood protection works for Graham's Creek
(562 kb, 80 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Peninsula Project Newsletter - November 2005
(789 kb, 112 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Peninsula Project Newsletter - Have Your Say!
(72 kb, 10 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Animal pest control
Kauaeranga Valley to Te Puru possum control 2008/09
(1308 kb, 186 seconds to download, 56k modem)
More information on this website