Stopbank work sparks town meeting

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2014

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Work is under way to protect Waitara from a 100-year flood but residents want more information, says the head of the town's community board.

The Taranaki Regional Council has started raising the stopbank on Browne St to the town's bridge in the $3 million project which is estimated will take three years.

The council had advertised what was being done and consulted some groups but some residents say that's not enough and a public meeting will be held in the town's War Memorial Hall at 7pm tonight.

Waitara Community Board chairman Joe Rauner said while the council had carried out some consultation the public were upset they had not been kept fully informed about the project.

"It's a lot of money to be spent without hearing the public's concerns," Rauner said. "I'd been approached by a few concerned residents and they wanted some questions answered, including the volume of water they expect to come down."

Rauner said residents were not against the project, it was just the non-notified process.

Council rivers manager John Philpott said the council had spoken with the community board, flood protection scheme liaison committee, all individual land owners adjacent to the stopbanks, one hapu group and had attempted to contact others.

"Very little feedback was received," he said.

Flood protection work carried out by the council was a permitted activity under the regional fresh water plan and no resource consent was required. Mr Philpott said the money budgeted for the work came from a targeted rate across all of North Taranaki.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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