Now that the Rotorua Lakes Council has had some experience with flooding in Ngongotaha and elsewhere, they might think twice before pushing more house developments in risk-prone areas.

The extreme weather events we now experience (think East Coast, Auckland, Nelson, Bay of Plenty) should be a major concern in any civil engineering and housing works.

I feel sorry for those affected by poor political projects, and also for developers who are expected to "mitigate flooding" and other problems created by dumb plans and council coercion.

I would be interested to hear from the council how the potential developer of the Special Housing Area on the Waiteti flood plain could "mitigate flooding", bearing in mind that the area was under water a few weeks ago.


At least one lesson learned by the current council is that communities matter and trying to work around them is undemocratic and often plain foolish.

A crash course in geomorphology, risk management and natural events could be useful for Rotorua Lakes Council.

David Field

Ngongotaha residents and ratepayers affected by the flash flood on April 29 might be wondering if their problems have been forgotten.

And if they are ever going to see the review promised by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Rotorua Lakes Council.

To be fair, there are many complexities to a joint approach. While most will know that the regional council is broadly responsible for rivers, and Rotorua Lakes Council for resource consenting, there are many nuances to their jurisdictions that may not be easily agreed.

On the other hand, there seems to be general agreement that the review should investigate the history of flood mitigation and resource consenting on the Ngongotaha flood plain, neither to blame nor exonerate, but to use best science to identify the many interacting factors that create outcomes in a new context of climate change.

The best mix of expertise must also be a challenge.

In the interests of pubic confidence in the review, and in the regional council and Rotorua Lakes Council, can the public please be given a brief opportunity to comment on the draft terms of reference before they are fixed?


And can the Rotorua Lakes Council please ask the Associate Minister of Housing Jenny Salesa to pause on the proposal to build a Special Housing Area on the Waiteti flood plain until the review report can be considered?

Reynold Macpherson