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Stopbank project and Kaiteriteri Road victims of spending cuts

May 30th, 2012

The controversial project to upgrade the lower Motueka River stopbank has received a funding cut from over $16 million to $5m, and the $1.65m upgrade of part of Kaiteriteri Rd has been shelved.

These are the two major victims of Tasman District Council's decision to cut spending in an effort to reduce council debt in its Long Term Plan, the Nelson Mail reported yesterday.

The decision to slash the proposed stopbank budget from $16.35m, which was made during last Thursday's long-term plan meeting, was suggested by councillor Kit Maling, who said modelling showed failure of the river's stopbanks would only see water flood through the town to a depth of 25 centimetres. The cap would allow the council to complete planned modelling work to establish the levels of risk around any work on the stopbanks.

Four councillors voted against the change including Mayor Richard Kempthorne, Deputy Mayor Tim King, Trevor Norriss and Barry Dowler.

Outside the meeting, Motueka Community Board chairman David Ogilvie told the Nelson Mail he was concerned at the stopbanks spending cap. He said the threat of flooding was a serious issue and the council would have spent close to $1m in consultation and modelling already.

He was keen to see exactly what the $5m would be spent on but thought it would have been more appropriate to drop the $25.2m proposal to reticulate Motueka's water or the $38.2m plan to build the coastal pipeline.

"I can understand the council trying to keep debt levels down, and most of its spend is on infrastructure but I would have thought in the case of Motueka it would have been more important to complete the stopbanks than build the pipeline. And the 70 per cent of people in town who have their own bores are pretty happy with them, so there's no urgency over the water supply."

The decision not to fund Kaiteriteri Rd, which was first planned around 1999, was another example of projects being delayed by a lack of funding, he said.


Comment by Philip Grimmett:
[Posted 24 June 2012]

The Motueka community board is making sensible submissions to the TDC about the priorities for the Motueka district. Flood protection has to be at the top. For Councillor Kit Maling to say it's only 25cm of flooding on current modelling is simply unacceptable.

To promote the usage of the Motueka water resource with an expensive $38 million scheme is totally irresponsable, especially considering the TDC continued support for the Lee Valley Dam and at these difficult economic times. These projects are not benefiting the Motueka ratepayers that will be paying for them.

David Olgivie and his committee need our full support. I think the priorities would be different if we had the old Motueka Borough Council. I note the Wakatu Corporation are making similar concerns to the TDC and being fobbed off. These issues are too important to ignore and need to be changed before we find Motueka being sidelined in decision making.

There is an important democratic issue of Motueka representation and priorities being largely disregarded. Where will this lead? Very concerning.

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