Posted on September 1, 2015
You might think the picture on the right is from this morning’s Tamaki Drive flooding, but it’s from April 2014.
How about this one?
That would be February 2014.
What about this?
The pictures I have even go back to this one.
I know all this because earlier this year my board was presented with the latest 50 page council document: The Orakei Local Board Hazard Report.
In this report they take 6 pages to cover the flooding risks, which are mainly (but not exclusively) located around Tamaki Drive. The report includes some pearlers: “The seawalls along Tamaki Drive have been overtopped and flooded numerous times during storm events, causing traffic and access issues. Water that is fast flowing and that contains hidden hazards can be particularly dangerous, resulting in a risk to the health and safely of people.”
It concludes with this helpful comment: “In Auckland sea levels have risen 15cm in the last 100 years, indicating that areas which are inundated occasionally now are likely to be inundated more frequently in future.”
Of course, Auckland Council has known about this for more than earlier this year. When the Orakei Local Board agreed the Tamaki Drive Masterplan with the Mayor at the end of 2012, it contained the following comment. “The purpose of the masterplan is to consider all the issues facing Tāmaki Drive in an integrated manner.”
The purpose, along with a number of other issues, was to agree a plan and funding to protect Tamaki Drive from this (increasingly regular) flooding.
After almost three years, the Mayor’s initial enthusiasm and support has amounted to nothing.
The well regarded Tamaki Drive Protection Society wrote to Auckland Transport after the April 2014 flood. Professor Ken Palmer in his Annual Report of that year spoke of the group’s concerns of the effect of future flooding and Tamaki Drive closures.
But as Auckland Transport CEO David Wharburton said today in response to Cameron Brewer’s questioning: there is no funding to address the seawall issues and the flooding impacts are likely to get worse.
Today, thousands of Auckland residents experienced first hand how the Mayor’s most liveable city idea is failing at flood protection – a basic city making task.
It’s a job we will need a new Mayor to solve; someone who can better prioritise core council activities such as this – and pass the flood test.