A $23 million investment for flood protection over the next year will create more than 130 jobs in the Bay of Plenty.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau made the announcement in Rotorua today.
The projects will be funded by the Infrastructure Reference Group's (IRG) shovel-ready projects.
Peters said the funding would address some longstanding flood risk issues in Bay of Plenty communities as well as create much-needed jobs in areas recovering from the economic impact of Covid-19.
"Floods have devastating effects. They destroy property, critical infrastructure, the environment, homes and livelihoods."
Peters said the disruption to peoples' lives could be long-lasting and the funding would make "a huge difference".
"They will feel more confident to invest in their local assets, communities, businesses and homes, knowing they have increased flood protection."
Tabuteau said over 130 local jobs would be created in the Bay of Plenty through these projects and the works would be under way within the next 6-12 months.
"This increased flood protection is something the Edgecumbe and Rangitāiki communities have long been waiting for after the devastating flood events in 2004 and 2017," Tabuteau said.
He said the cost to repair the damage to the region's river schemes caused by the April 2017 storm was more than $45m, with wider recovery costs estimated at $109m.
Completion of this work would provide a greater level of flood protection and security for locals, he said.
The Rangitāiki Floodway project
Funding supports the final stage of the project, which has been under way for the past seven years.
It includes increasing the capacity of the floodway and construction of a Lower Fixed Crest Spillway to manage the flows entering the floodway from the Rangitāiki River above Edgecumbe.
Implementing Ngongotahā Stream Independent Review Recommendations
Delivering flood mitigation options to address the cause of flooding suffered by the Ngongotahā township in April 2018, which resulted in 38 houses being declared unsanitary and requiring extensive repair work.
Whakatāne River flood defence upgrade
Flood defences on the lower Whakatāne River need to be upgraded to protect the community from flooding in the coming decades.
Waioeka Estuary Restoration and Floodway Enhancement Project
A large wetland is to be created on the left side of the Waioeka River to relieve the flood pressure from Ōpōtiki township stopbanks.
Kaituna mole upgrade and surrounding amenity enhancements
This will upgrade a Kaituna river scheme structure at Maketū, which provides significant flood management and recreational value in the lower Kaituna catchment area.
Rangitāiki floodwall resilience mitigation
This addresses the integrity of three floodwall structures on the Rangitāiki River.