People from the community will help form a plan aimed at cutting the risk and impact of future storms in Ngongotahā.

The community reference group will be in place by the end of February, according to a joint statement by the Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The statement said the final plan would include a range of work, agreed by the community reference group and the project team, aimed at reducing the risk and impact of future storms in Ngongotahā.

A project team, made up of staff from both councils, has had regular meetings since the Independent Review Panel's report was released in December and had been working out how the community group would be established, resourced and operated, the statement said.

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The group would be made up of community and iwi representatives and elected members and provide advice and recommendations to both councils, and lead community engagement and consultation.

The final agreed action plan was expected to inform considerations for both councils, the statement said.

Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council had been working together on immediate remedial works since the flooding last April 29.

The councils commissioned an independent panel to investigate the factors that may have contributed to the flood. The report was released in December and made 24 recommendations to help reduce the risk and the potential impact of severe storm events in the area for the future.

Project timeline:

-December 2018: Release of flood review report
-February 2019: Community reference group established to work through recommendations together with the technical teams
- April/May 2019: Results from catchment modelling work due and preliminary works options developed
-April/May 2019: Community engagement and dialogue on draft options
-July: Finalise options report and highlight delivery timeframes (short/medium/long term including funding scenarios)
-Later 2019 onwards: Presentation of final recommendations to both councils and progressive implementation of agreed actions once adopted by councils.