Towards integrated floodplain management in the lower Waimakariri floodplain
As investment located on New Zealand floodplains increased and subsequently damaged by flooding, public pressure for new water control works mounted. This in turn led to calls for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to management (Ericksen 1990:51). In New Zealand, an integrated approach for reducing flood hazard has long been advocated through legislation (Ericksen 1990:50) and is today through the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Yet in spite of this, integrated management has been weakly adopted (Bührs 1991: 10 & 17; Ericksen 1990:50; Ericksen, Dixon & Berke 2000:123). Reasons for the slow progress made by local authorities in reducing flood hazards include a lack of resources and unwilling attitudes (Ericksen 1990:50). It was the belief amongst many local politicians, and other influential community members, that land use management would limit development and therefore rateable income for use in stimulating further growth. Similar activities caused advice from catchment boards to local authorities on floodplain planning to be compromised, even spurned (Ericksen 1990:50). This report focuses on management of the lower Waimkariri floodplain, providing a background to past management schemes and analysing present management. There are four local government authorities that have over-lapping responsibilities on the lower Waimakariri floodplain. They are Environment Canterbury (Ecan), Christchurch City Council (CCC), Waimakariri District Council (WDC) and Selwyn District Council (SDC). It has been established within this report that an integrated approach to management of the lower Waimakariri floodplain is the most efficient and effective approach because of the over-lapping responsibilities Ecan, CCC, WDC and SDC has. However, organisational culture and attitudes are preventing an integrated approach. In addition, currently there is no regional direction for management of the Waimakariri floodplain. The lack of regional direction makes it difficult for territorial local authorities to manage the floodplain consistency. It was found that management of the Waimakariri floodplain is not integrated, which reduces the overall effectiveness. The key recommendation in this report is that a joint committee consisting of representatives from Ecan, CCC, WDC and SDC be formed to address the lack of integration and to provide a regional direction for management of the Waimakariri floodplain.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsfloodplain management; integrated environmental management; integrated floodplain management; resource management; Resource Management Act; Waimakariri River
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