Couple’s flooding issues to be fixed

OVERFLOWING: The Wairarapa Stream had been flooding and killing off trees on the property of Colin and Valerie Averill - but a long-term solution has been found.

A Merivale couple who struggled with flooding on their property has been successful in spurring the city council into action.

Colin and Valerie Averill, who live on Garden Rd, approached the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board last week over their concerns of flooding from the Wairarapa Stream which runs through their property.

Within a few days, Mr Averill was advised the city council would begin work on a project to clear a large amount of weeding and silt from the stream.

Mr Averill said the stream overflowed regularly and not just when it rained, which had damaged trees.

“We learned this year that the river was higher than it normally was at this time of year,” he said.

Community board chairman Sam MacDonald said the board decided this was an “urgent” matter.

He said it immediately sent a request for staff to look into solutions.

“The earthquakes had essentially lifted the land. Previously to the earthquake they had been having council come and clear the stream once a year, but because of the silt movement that had to increase to twice a year,” he said.

“It got worse recently and they don’t want it to get too much higher because it’s imposing on their property.”

Mr Averill said the city council had done a “great job” managing the stream in previous years.

But he was glad a long-term fix was being implemented.

“We’re used to getting a bit of flooding when it rained, but what we’re concerned about is the higher average flow. There’s a difference between the flash flooding and the longer term flooding, and we’ve lost a few trees over the year because of the higher average flow,” Mr Averill said.

He said he and his wife were not the only ones who had flooding issues as their neighbours’ properties were also affected.

“There’s a bit of an island that we share with our neighbours at the side of our property, and that’s given us a bit of a problem. The river does come up quite quickly, and our island nearly goes underwater.”

Mr Averill said he was notified by the city council that work would start yesterday to clear weeds and silt from the stream along about a 1km stretch from Mona Vale to the couple’s property.

“It’ll take about two or three weeks and they’ll get rid of it, which is very good news for us.”

“The proof in the pudding is in the eating, so we’re waiting with baited breath to see if it turns out well,” Mr Averill said