The Bay of Plenty Regional Council says it is making steady progress addressing the recommendations of the Rangitaiki River Scheme Review.

On 6 April 2017, a breach of the Rangitāiki River stopbank at College Rd in Edgecumbe resulted in widespread flooding of properties and the evacuation of the entire township.

Following the event, the regional council requested an independent review of the infrastructure and the circumstances that led to the breach of the floodwall and associated flooding. That report was presented to council and made public in October 2017.

A report earlier this month to the council's Audit and Risk Committee illustrated a co-ordinated response to the recommendations of the review, often referred to as the Cullen report.

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Council's general manager integrated catchments Chris Ingle said some projects were short-term and some were much longer.

"It was helpful to lay the recommendations out for council and illustrate progress to each," Mr Ingle said.

Progress had already been made in a number of areas, he said.

"Work is well under way with Whakatane District Council and Civil Defence agencies on the development of river level triggers and evacuation planning for the Edgecumbe township.

"These take into consideration the state of repair works along the river and extensive scenario modelling."

The Cullen report also made recommendations to bring forward changes earmarked in the long-term plan for improvements to the monitoring network in the catchment.

Management of Lake Matahina was the topic of one of the recommendations in the report and the council was continuing to work closely with Trustpower to review the Lake Matahina Flood Management Plan to improve communications in flood events and agree on protocols for timing and lake level management during an event.

A number of the technical and supporting recommendations have also been taken on board in the reconstruction work and planned upgrades of the College Rd stopbank and Rangitaiki floodway infrastructure.

Background
• On 6 April 2017, a breach of the Rangitāiki River stopbank at College Rd in Edgecumbe resulted in widespread flooding of properties and the evacuation of the entire township.
• An independent review of the infrastructure and the circumstances leading to the breach (the Cullen Review) was presented to council and made public in October 2017.
• More information is available including the report, the documents made available to the review panel for deliberations and a series of Q&As released at the same time as the report.