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Thames Coast Project

Photograph of the Tararu Stream in flood, 2002The Thames coast is situated on the west side of the Coromandel Peninsula between the towns of Thames and Coromandel. Regular flooding in the area threatens people’s lives and damages property. The Thames Coast Project aims to reduce flooding in Thames coast communities.

On this page: Flooding on the Thames coast, business case to the government, what we've achieved, summary report, flood protection proposals, pest control operations

Flooding on the Thames coast

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. These streams deposit sediment, soil or gravel in a wide ‘fan’ formation or delta near the stream mouth. Over many years, communities have developed on these deltas, making them vulnerable to floods generated by short bursts of high intensity rainfall. The streams within these deltas are also unstable and are easily clogged with sediment during floods because of the high sediment loads.

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 rail links).

The Thames Coast Project is just one part of the wider Peninsula Project. The Peninsula Project addresses 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.

'Weather Bomb' 2002

The 'Weather Bomb 21 June 2002 Final Technical Report' contains information on the storm itself (including rainfall, wind, barometric pressure and river levels), flood warnings, Civil Defence responses, the extent of the damage, a summary of costs, suggested operational improvements and follow-up actions required.

You can view, print or copy information from this report below. You can also order a printed copy of the report through our publications pages.

Weather Bomb 21 June 2002 Final Technical Report
(1270 kb, 181 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Business case to the government

In 2004, Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council submitted a business case to central government seeking financial support for managing flooding along the Thames coast. In September that year, the government announced it would contribute $10 million over four years to the cost of the work.

The business case identified an integrated package of measures to address flooding issues along the Thames coast including flood protection, state highway bridge improvements and animal pest management on Crown land.

Flood protection

The government contributed:

  • $0.69 million (30 per cent) towards the costs of purchasing 25 properties located in high flood risk areas
  • $0.89 million (25 per cent) towards the costs of engineering works.

State highway bridge improvements

Transit committed to reviewing the costs and technical feasibility of the proposed State Highway 25 bridge improvements in Tararu, Te Puru and Waiomu for reducing flood risks.

Animal pest management

The government approved funding for the Department of Conservation to carry out animal pest control on Crown land:

  • $365,000 to commence pest control planning and operations on the Thames coast in 2004/05
  • $1.467 million for 2005/06
  • $955,000 for subsequent years, in recognition that the effectiveness of pest control for flood mitigation purposes is dependent on pest numbers being maintained at a low level.

What we've achieved

Waikato Regional Council and the Thames-Coromandel District Council have jointly initiated a number of responses following the ‘Weather Bomb’ event in 2002. Waikato Regional Council has:

  • undertaken a detailed assessment of the flood hazards for each of the five priority communities (Tararu, Te Puru, Waiomu/Pohue, Tapu and Coromandel township)
  • commissioned a detailed flood risk assessment from URS Consultants for each of the five communities - this assessment determines the risks in terms of risk to life, and risk to property and infrastructure in dollar terms
  • investigated a range of options for managing flood risks as part of our natural hazards and risk mitigation work
  • worked with representatives from each of the affected communities to identify the options their communities prefer
  • put in place a comprehensive stream maintenance programme - this programme ensures sand, gravel, built-up silt, plant pests and other obstructions are regularly removed from streams and rivers
  • constructed a floodwall and completed channel protection works at Tararu - the final stage of these works is the replacement of the state highway bridge (this work is expected to begin in 2008)
  • protected residents at a Coromandel town retirement village with a stopbank
  • stabilised the banks of the Te Puru and Waiomu streams with rock rip rap and planting
  • purchased a number of high risk properties in conjunction with Thames-Coromandel District Council.

Work in progress

Waikato Regional Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council and Transit New Zealand are working closely together on issues regarding the design and construction of bridges, and surrounding flood protection at Te Puru, Tararu and Waiomu. Designs for the Tararu and Te Puru bridges are almost finished.

We are working with the Department of Conservation to control possums and goats on DOC-administered and private land through to 2009. Reducing the number of these pests will allow the forest to recover. A healthy forest helps improve the stability of the catchment and downstream river system, and ultimately reduces the impact of flooding. You can find out more about animal pest control operations planned for the Coromandel Peninsula on the Department of Conservation website www.doc.govt.nz.

You can also check out our Thames Coast Project Investigation Report, Natural Hazards river flooding maps, and the Flood Risk Assessment Report in PDF format.

Community consultation

In August 2003, five community meetings were held along the Thames coast at Tararu, Te Puru, Waiomu/Pohue, Tapu and Coromandel Town. A Summary Report titled 'River flooding: reducing the risk' was mailed to ratepayers in each community. This report provided the basis for consultation.

Following the community meetings, working parties were established in each community to work with Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council on the issues and options for their community. These groups have provided an essential link with the communities and assisted the councils in their decision making over the past four years.

In April 2004, newsletters (see PDF documents below) were sent to all ratepayers in the five communities outlining the recommendations for stream maintenance and some capital flood protection works made by the working parties, the potential rating implications and seeking feedback on these proposals.

In March 2006 newsletters were sent to all ratepayers in Coromandel town, Waiomu/Pohue and Te Puru confirming recommendations for flood protection works and seeking feedback through the Long-Term Council Community Plan process. In August 2006 the proposals adopted by council were outlined in another series of newsletters.

Summary report

This Thames Coast Project Summary Report ('River Flooding: reducing the risk') sets out the original hazard and risk assessments, and draft proposals for options and costs for each of the five priority communities. These proposals provided a basis for initial consultation with the community and have been modified according to community feedback and Working Party recommendations. You can view, print or copy information from the summary report in PDF format below.

Table of contents

Introduction

This section contains a table of contents and a general address to residents of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Summary report - Introduction
(256 kb, 36 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Section 1 - Background

This section presents a broad introduction to the report, including a brief description of the Thames coast physical environment, the context and purpose of the document, funding models, risk assessment results, roles and responsibilities and the general framework and methodology followed.

Summary report - Background
(444 kb, 63 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Section 2 - Draft proposals for each community

These documents contain site specific information for each of the five Thames coast communities studied. This includes hazard maps, proposed river and catchment risk mitigation works, costs and indicative rating information.

Tararu

Summary report - Tararu
(657 kb, 93 seconds to download, 56k modem) 

Te Puru

Summary report - Te Puru
(592 kb, 84 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Waiomu/Pohue

Summary report - Waiomu/Pohue
(892 kb, 127 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Tapu

Summary report - Tapu
(521 kb, 74 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Coromandel Town

Summary report - Coromandel Town
(844 kb, 120 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Section 3 - More information

This section has more information on the project, including how you can be involved, answers to likely questions, a glossary and how you can get more information. It also lists the tables and figures featured in the summary report.

Summary report - More information
(90 kb, 12 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

See our publications pages to order a printed copy of this Thames Coast Project Summary Report or the Thames Coast Project Investigation Report.

Flood protection proposals

Newsletters were sent to each of these communities in 2004, 2006 and 2007 seeking feedback on proposed flood protection works. View the newsletters in PDF format below.

2007

Te Puru rating review

Letter re the rating review for Te Puru
(58 kb, 8 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Map of current rating for channel maintenance at Te Puru
(51 kb, 7 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Map of proposed rating for channel maintenance at Te Puru
(50 kb, 7 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Stop-log gate: A proposal for affected Te Puru ratepayers.

Newsletter for affected Te Puru ratepayers
(794 kb, 113 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Submission form. Have your say! Te Puru stop-log gate
(59 kb, 8 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

2006

Proposed flood protection works and submission forms

Coromandel town flood protection newsletter
(305 kb, 43 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Te Puru flood protection newsletter
(329 kb, 47 seconds to download, 56k modem) 

Waiomu and Pohue flood protection newsletter
(560 kb, 80 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Confirmed flood protection works

Coromandel town flood protection update
(105 kb, 15 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Te Puru flood protection update
(105 kb, 15 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Waiomu and Pohue flood protection update
(371 kb, 53 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

2004

Te Puru Flood Management Newsletter
(67 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Waiomu-Pohue Flood Management Newsletter
(68 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Tapu Flood Management Newsletter
(66 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Coromandel Township Flood Management Newsletter
(68 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)  

Pest control operations

Animal pest control proposals for 2007/08
(2237 kb, 319 seconds to download, 56k modem)