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Proposed rating change

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) is currently asking for comment on a rating change to the Kerikeri-Waipapa river management plan. Households affected by the change should have received a letter from the Council outlining these changes.

Flood control is being improved by a high flow spill way to prevent or limit flooding in the Waipapa area which in extreme events can see the Kerikeri River break its banks with water flowing overland to join the Waipapa River.

There are two natural flow paths for this flooding of the Kerikeri River:

  • One is via the Whiriwhiritoa stream at the Waipapa Commercial Estate

  • The other spills across Waitotara Drive and Waipapa Road.

As NRC says the Kerikeri River has a long history of flooding on this flood plain. The Waipapa commercial area still has a limited sewerage system, poor soils and a high water table. In fact it is surprising that development was permitted there and it gives the impression of; opportunism by a developer now long gone and pressure on the Council of the time and, our extremely permissive effects based plan, rather than careful strategic planning.

The flood protection work will divert water away from housing, across farmland through an old river channel to emerge 700 metres downstream of Rainbow Falls”. You can download the full details here.

Waitotara Road - Waipapa Road and the Kerikeri River are just across the reserve

The view from Waitotara Drive looking across the reserve with the Kerikeri River and Waipapa Road in the background.

Last year NRC proposed a targeted rate which everyone paid uniformly regardless of the level of benefit received. This has been revised with a differential rate now being proposed.

Those getting a direct benefit from flood protection will pay more than everyone else at a ratio of three to one ($73.74 to $221.22 per rating unit). This seems a reasonable compromise though no doubt the numbers can be debated. The map below shows the area that will incur the new rate; pink $73.74, yellow $221.22.