Flooding in Duck Creek, Porirua, only a temporary disruption for housing developer
The Brookside subdivision in Porirua resembled a lake on November 15, but its developer says it will begin building homes next year.
The 148-home subdivision, on the former bottom nine of the old Duck Creek golf course in Whitby, often floods badly during heavy rain.
After the downpour two weeks ago, during which parts of the suburb were cut off, some residents questioned the wisdom of building homes on the site.
On Facebook Rachel Bryenton said, "I'm just so disappointed that this development was ever given the green light."
Andy Dingfelder said this was the third time in 18 months this part of the old golf course had been fully submerged.
"Yes, I have gone through the plans and yes, they show elevation [the development to be built up]. I and others are just asking: is it enough?"
But Brookside developer Bob Turner said measures would be in place in case of future weather events.
"We're doing a large amount of work there for many months yet, raising the ground up to four metres higher than what is now," he said.
"The consent from Porirua City Council and the [Greater Wellington] Regional Council was very detailed and has strict conditions.
"The ground will be stabilised and I'm hoping we can be building homes by mid-next year."
Last year Kapi-Mana News reported objections raised about too many homes, narrow streets, and flooding issues.
Thirteen of 20 submissions on the Brookside development to the two councils were in opposition, including ones from NZ Transport Agency, Forest and Bird, Guardians of Pauatahanui Inlet and Ngati Toa.
Whitby Residents Association chairman Geoff Mowday said while the development site "looked bad" during the recent floods, he and the association committee were comfortable Turner was complying with consent conditions.
"Yes, it was a mess, but when you have that amount of rain, there is no way to keep a building site tidy," he said.
"We're aware there has been monitoring by the councils and we're just keen that he be allowed to have a fair go and get on with it.
"When people start to see the profile [of Brookside] take shape, they might start to have more of a positive view."
Porirua City Council policy, planning and regulatory services general manager James Jefferson said extensive flood modelling had been carried out for Brookside.
Predicted flood flows, sea rises and other storm-related conditions were all taken into account when the consent was given, he said.
Some of the work being carried out on the stream would divert floodwaters into thick grass, reducing the velocity of sediment entering the harbour, Jefferson said.
Along with monitoring noise, dust, hours of operation and traffic movement, council staff meet contractors on site up to three times a week.
"It seems very clear that the general public is unaware about the level of monitoring of water quality that is required," he said.
Jefferson said dirty Duck Creek water entering the harbour in the past few weeks could not have been from Brookside as no earthworks had begun until this week.