Government flood protection funding recognises scale of national issue

Local Government New Zealand welcomes the announcement of 150 projects included in the $3 billion Covid Response and Recovery Fund, and highlights the $210 million investment in climate resilience and flood protection as a stand-out that is well-needed across New Zealand.

Research commissioned by LGNZ’s Regional Sector showed successive investments in river management and flood control assets, such as stop banks and weirs, had unlocked billions of dollars in economic value over several decades.

Both central and local government assets have benefited, with around 1.5 million hectares of New Zealand’s most productive land, and over 100 towns and cities protected by 364-river management and flood protection schemes.

Central Government investment into river management and flood protection projects stalled after the 1989 local government reforms, leaving it up to local ratepayers to develop and maintain.

Communities, largely through regional councils, have continued to invest $200 million a year in these schemes, but without central government support, this critical infrastructure has not keep pace with growing flood risks.

The Regional Sector’s 2019 report, which made the case for greater co-investment in river management and flood protection schemes, can be downloaded here.