The Peninsula Project is about improving the health of the environment and reducing flood risks on the Coromandel Peninsula.
The project addresses river and erosion issues from the mountains to the sea by integrating three key areas of work - flood protection, river and catchment management, and animal pest control. Waikato Regional Council , Thames-Coromandel District Council, the Department of Conservation and Hauraki Maori Trust Board are working together to carry out this work.
On this page: About the project, roles of the project partners, what we are doing, benefits of this work, costs , funding, impacts on ratepayers , newsletters, more information.
About the project
The Coromandel Peninsula is known for its beautiful environment but riverbank erosion, debris blocking rivers and streams, the effect of animal pests on forest health and storms have caused wide-spread problems for its communities.
The Peninsula Project aims to improve these issues. Over the next 20 years, the project will have far reaching benefits for both the environment and the people who live and holiday on the peninsula. It will:
- better protect people, property and essential services from flooding
- reduce sedimentation in rivers, harbours and estuaries
- improve water quality
- reduce animal pests such as possums and goats
- increase the number and diversity of native plants and animals
- stabilise catchments.
View an enlarged map of the Peninsula Project's boundaries by clicking on the thumbnail map.
Roles of the project partners
Each partner has a different set of responsibilities on the Peninsula Project, as outlined below.
Waikato Regional Council
Waikato Regional Council is responsible for managing the region’s rivers and their catchments, including the effects of flooding and erosion. As part of the Peninsula Project, we’re working with local communities to better protect them from frequent flooding and erosion through river management, soil conservation and flood protection works, and animal pest control on private land. We’re also responsible for undertaking works and services in the coastal marine area (CMA).
Thames-Coromandel District Council
Thames-Coromandel District Council is responsible for ensuring the peninsula’s communities have the services and infrastructure they need. The council’s role in the Peninsula Project is to determine and plan for appropriate land use so communities are safe and sustainable.
Find out more about land use, planning and utilities on the Coromandel Peninsula on Thames-Coromandel District Council's website www.tcdc.govt.nz.
Department of Conservation
The Department of Conservation conserves New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage for all to enjoy now and in the future. The Department’s role in the Peninsula Project is to help reduce environmental damage and the impact of erosion and flooding by controlling the number of feral goats and possums on Crown land.
Find out more about animal pest control operations on the Department of Conservation website www.doc.govt.nz.
Hauraki Maori Trust Board
Hauraki Maori Trust Board is responsible for developing policies and strategies to improve and sustain the mauri of Hauraki. This role includes a strong interest in protecting and enhancing the water quality and stability of our rivers, streams and estuaries and our cultural heritage on the peninsula.
Find out more about iwi planning and tangata whenua interests on the Hauraki Maori Trust Board website www.haurakimaori.co.nz.
What we are doing
The Peninsula Project team is working with landowners and communities on a number of projects. Some examples of past and current projects are listed below.
- Flood protection on the Thames Coast – Waikato Regional Council is currently working with Tararu, Te Puru, Waiomu/Pohue, Tapu and Coromandel town residents and ratepayers to determine the best way to manage flood risks in their communities. Find out more about the work these communities have already agreed to as part of the Thames Coast Project.
- Animal pest control on the Thames Coast – Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation have completed four years of possum and goat control over nearly 740,000 hectares of Crown and private land. The improved condition of the forest is already apparent and bird numbers have increased. Visit www.doc.govt.nz for more information.
- Manaia river erosion protection – the Manaia Stream has been realigned and a 650 tonne rock wall and earth bank constructed to hold the stream in place. School children, other community members and Waikato Regional Council staff planted around 1000 plants on the site to help stabilise the banks. This work will reduce sediment entering the river and protect access to the marae.
- Stream maintenance works – built up silt, sand, gravel, plant pests and other blockages are regularly removed from a number of streams around the peninsula.
- Restoration projects – more than 70 landowners are currently involved in restoration projects which include fencing, planting and pest control. Around 25,000 native plants are planted annually along streambanks, around wetlands and in bush fragments.
- Managing future development – Waikato Regional Council and Thames-Coromandel District Council are currently developing clear flood hazard information and variations to the district and regional plans to manage development in high risk areas. The variations were notified in early 2009 and will be finalised this year.
- Developing harbour and catchment management plans – working with communities, iwi and agencies on a comprehensive approach that will protect and improve areas for the future. A plan has been completed for the Wharekawa River catchment and a draft plan prepared for the Whangamata harbour catchment. Prioritising of future plans is underway. From July 2009 these will be closely linked to the Coromandel Blueprint Local Area Plans.
Benefits of this work
River management works stabilise river and stream banks through fencing and planting, and removing gravel, debris and blockages. The benefits of this work are
- less erosion and flooding – clearing trees, logs or stumps helps prevent channel blockages that can cause erosion and flooding
- less sedimentation – stabilising riverbanks helps decrease sediment and allows the river water to flow freely
- river courses become more stable due to reduced erosion
- improved pasture quality due to less flooding, erosion and sedimentation
- increased recreational value due to clearance of logs
- a consistent and defined maintenance standard – inconsistent maintenance standards can lead to flooding of adjacent properties
Soil conservation works stabilise land by preventing soil erosion. They also reduce the effects of land-related hazards such as flooding and subsidence. Works include land management practices such as planting trees on hills and stream banks, retiring erosion-prone land and fencing gully areas and waterways. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced property damage
- improved land productivity
- improved drinking water quality for people and livestock
- improved water quality for swimming and boating
- reduced slip damage to roads, fences, water supplies and buildings
- improved habitat for aquatic animals and plants
- increased biodiversity from land returned to native vegetation
- a more attractive environment.
Flood protection works reduce the risk of flooding and improve drainage. Traditionally this has been achieved through structural methods such as stopbanks, but we are increasingly using a whole of catchment approach. This approach combines structural methods in the lower catchment with non-structural methods such as soil conservation works and animal pest control in the upper catchment. Removing houses and raising the floor levels of houses in high risk areas can also form part of the solution. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced risk to life
- direct protection of urban property
- reduced damage to transport and utilities
- reduced monetary and human costs associated with diverting or delaying traffic
- investment security – flood control schemes provide security for development
- economic benefits – protection of businesses and the economic flow-on effects
- social benefits – peace of mind, security of access.
Animal pest control
Controlling the number of feral goats and possums on public conservation and private land in the upper catchments is essential to reducing the amount of sediment and debris carried downstream when it rains heavily. That's because these animal pests have destroyed forest areas and vegetation in many of the peninsula's upper catchments, making the soil unstable and increasing erosion and run-off. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced erosion and improved stability
- reduced run-off
- increased number and diversity of native plants and birds.
Works and services in the coastal marine area (CMA)
The type of works and services we undertake in the CMA include estuarine wetland protection and enhancement, erosion protection, mangrove management and dredging. This activity also includes the development of harbour and catchment management plans. The benefits of this work are:
- reduced sediment entering estuaries and harbours
- reduced flooding through the clearance of stream mouths
- improved recreational access and safety
- improved habitat for native wildlife.
Peninsula Project work is funded by a combination of the following:
- Money from central government, either to pay for direct works to meet Crown responsibilities for the state highways and getting goats and possums under control on Department of Conservation land, or as a contribution to flood protection works.
- Waikato Regional Council ratepayers, via the general rate.
- A 'Peninsula Project' rate spread across Coromandel Peninsula ratepayers.
- A targeted rate which helps pay for local flood protection work. Under existing policy, local communities and land owners are required to fund 75 per cent of capital expenditure for any flood protection and river management work where engineering solutions are needed. The cost can be spread over 20 years at market interest rates, or paid in full in the first year.
Financial assistance is available to help land owners undertake soil conservation (erosion control), animal pest control and river management works on their properties. Under existing policy, land owners pay up to 65 per cent of the cost of this work. The remainder is funded by the wider community.
Impacts on ratepayers
A rate across the Coromandel Peninsula helps fund this work.
The council received over 2000 submissions on the Peninsula Project and Thames coast proposals outlined in its 2004 Draft Long-Term Council Community Plan. Most submissions were made on a preferred rating option for the proposed peninsula rate, and supporters chose from five options.
Overall there was strong support for a uniform rate across the project area.
The peninsula rate includes a capital value component and a flat rate per property component, split equally. This means that each ratepayer on the peninsula contributes around $5 per $100,000 capital value of their property and a $284 per property charge. (Find out the exact rate for your property.)
Direct benefits to local areas are funded by direct local rates and charges for flood protection and soil conservation. The method of rating reflects direct benefits to local areas and wider benefits across both the peninsula and the region from a stable and well-managed catchment. All ratepayers on the Coromandel Peninsula benefit.
Waikato Regional Council will continue to work with communities on the Coromandel Peninsula to confirm the works they would prefer and the work that needs to happen.
If flood protection work is undertaken in a local community, an additional capital and maintenance charge applies. However, this work is only undertaken if the community agrees to the work, and is prepared to pay for it.
The Peninsula Project - what it means for ratepayers
(1120 kb, 160 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Graham's Creek newsletter - December 2012
Important information for Te Puru ratepayers - December 2012
Tairua submission form
Graham's Creek newsletter
Graham's Creek newsletter - November 2011 (637kb)
Tapu flood protection update (298kb)
Last chance to have your say - a newsletter to ratepayers in Coromandel town and Hauraki Rd.
Newsletter to ratepayers in Coromandel town and Hauraki Rd, March 2009
(2282 kb, 326 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Submission form Coromandel town flood protection proposal
(191 kb, 27 seconds to download, 56k modem)
How we propose to fund stream maintenance - a newsletter to ratepayers in the Graham's Creek area.
Newsletter to ratepayers in the Graham's Creek area, March 2007
(1607 kb, 229 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Submission form for Graham's Creek ratepayers. Have your say!
(65 kb, 9 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Proposed flood protection works and submission form
Information for Graham's Creek ratepayers and residents
(430 kb, 61 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Confirmed flood protection works
Flood protection works for Graham's Creek
(562 kb, 80 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Peninsula Project Newsletter - November 2005
(789 kb, 112 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Peninsula Project Newsletter - April 2005
(241 kb, 34 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Peninsula Project Newsletter - Have Your Say!
(72 kb, 10 seconds to download, 56k modem)
Animal pest control
Kauaeranga Valley to Te Puru possum control 2008/09
(1308 kb, 186 seconds to download, 56k modem)
More information on this website