A small ceremony has been held for Edgecumbe residents ahead of planned demolition work on the stopbank that breached during the April floods.
The ceremony was held in the early hours of Saturday morning to bless the site before the Bay of Plenty Regional Council begins work to repair the stopbank in the breach location on College Rd, Edgecumbe.
The event was marked by families who live in houses acquired by the regional council for the stopbank rebuild.
The ceremony included a blessing by a local kaumatua and church minister and a wreath was floated down the Rangitaiki River.
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The regional council expects to start demolition works on the site in the coming weeks. It will also finalise geotechnical information and design before Christmas to start work on the new build in early 2018.
The Edgecumbe community had representation sitting alongside the engineering team during this process to ensure they were aware of progress and had input into final design and use of land on the site, the regional council said.