Flood of interest expected

Flooding in Ngongotaha last April.

Public input will be part of the Community Reference Group to help create an action plan to reduce the risk and impact of storms in Ngongotahā.

Applications, which will close on February 28, are now open.

The initiative is an adjunct to concerted moves by the Rotorua Lakes Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to avoid the difficulties of a flash flooding which hit Ngongotaha last year.

In a joint statement, the two authorities say a project team - comprising of executive and specialist/technical staff from both entities - has been “tasked” with creating the Ngongotahā Action Plan.

The plan will include a range of work, agreed by the community reference group, aimed at reducing the risk and impact of future storm ravages.

Last April’s storm which affected a new housing sub-division was thought a one-off, though responsibility has been shouldered by both authorities.

Late last year, the authorities were slated in an officially sanctioned report for being ill-prepared and ill-equipped to respond to the emergency nature of the sudden turn of damaging weather.

Not widely known as that families of two elected members of the RLC were affected the deluge.

Meanwhile, the joint statement said several people have already expressed interest in being part of the Community Reference Group, but applications can now also be made online.

The project team says the reference group will also comprise community, iwi representatives and elected members to provide advice and recommendations to both councils.

Additionally, it will lead community engagement and consultation around the development of plans for short/medium- and long-term actions.

The regional council has approved Rotorua-based councillor Lyall Thurston as their elected member representation on the group; a possible RLC representative is rural community board chair Shirley Trumper, though RLC approval is needed.

The authorities are seeking people with the following skills:

■ The ability to digest information/options and advise how to best word/pitch this information to a wider audience

■ The ability to advise future focused solutions that meet the community’s needs

■ Able to consider the big picture and make recommendations that are in the best interests of the entire area

■ Familiar with working in a collaborative environment, making quality consensus-based decisions.

Applicants will be selected against the following criteria:

■ Live in the Ngongotahā Catchment and/or have an intimate understanding of the area and community

■ Are representative of the community (but you don’t need to represent a particular group) and/or need to be able to speak on behalf of others

■ Have community connections via a number of Ngongotahā associated networks (e.g. clubs/sports clubs, churches, associations, interest groups etc)

■ Have the required skills to fulfil the role

The required commitment would likely be:

■ Prepare for and attend monthly workshops/meetings

■ Attend some community engagement events to be decided by the Community Reference Group

For more information:

https://letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz/Community-Reference-Group-for-the-Ngongotaha-Flood-Mitigation-Options


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