Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)

Otago’s state of emergency has been lifted.
Emergency Management Otago this morning lifted the state of emergency which existed since deluges and heavy wind battered Otago’s eastern coast over the weekend. The region has now officially entered a recovery phase with teams moving on to assessing the damage and checking on the needs of those affected by the devastating floods. Emergency Management Otago group controller Chris Hawker, in Dunedin, said the move towards recovery did not signal any reduction in effort.

● Dunedin City Council (03) 477-4000
● Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
● Otago Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254



Dunedin July Severe Weather update
10.45am Monday 24 July 2017

State of Emergency lifted

The Dunedin State of Emergency was lifted at 9am today. Under the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 we are now operating under a Notice of Local Transition Period as we move into the recovery phase.
The transition period is in force for 28 days (expires 9am 21 August) unless extended or ended earlier. The notice still gives the local authority powers to carry out essential emergency-related work.
More information about the work happening as part of the recovery phase will be provided today. The work will be led by Dunedin City Council Recovery Manager Simon Pickford.

Evacuation map – Upper Taieri Pond (PDF, 3.3 MB)
Mill Creek ponding area (PDF, 2.3 MB)




Dunedin July Severe Weather update #16
5pm, Sunday 23 July 2017

Dunedin Civil Defence Emergency Management is beginning to transition towards the recovery process as the clean up and repairs continue following significant damage caused by heavy rain and flooding on Friday and Saturday.

Dunedin Civil Defence Controller Sue Bidrose says about 130 properties – most of them in the Henley and Taieri areas – will remain evacuated overnight. “Some of these residents may not be able to return to their homes for several days. Anyone who cannot yet return home and needs emergency accommodation should contact us on 03 477 4000.”

Anyone whose property has been damaged by floodwaters, slips or weather related issuers should contact their insurers as soon as possible. People should treat all floodwater as being potentially contaminated.

Dr Bidrose says today’s other priority has been on clearing slips on main arterial roads.

The NZ Transport Agency has now reopened State Highway 88 Dunedin to Port Chalmers following the clearance of two slips which had closed the road between Maia and Roseneath.

Aramoana Road is now open to residents’ only access at Deborah Bay through to Aramoana. Take extreme care, there is debris and surface flooding. In some places it’s one lane only.

Portobello Road from Dunedin to Portobello fully reopened to the public at 5pm today. Work to clear a slip on Harington Point Road just past the turnoff to Harwood has been completed.

Harington Point Road from Portobello to the tanks traps near Taiaroa Head is open to residents’ only access with extreme care from 5pm. The road beyond the tank traps (1025 Harington Point Road) will remain impassable and staff are assessing options to restore access.

“People heading off to work and school tomorrow need to be aware there will still be widespread debris and damage on roads, and motorists must drive carefully and to the conditions,” Dr Bidrose says. “Check with your school as to whether there are any changes to opening times etc.”

Some roads remain closed due to flooding – a full list of road closures and conditions is available online at
State highway closures are on the NZ Transport Agency website at

With floodwater on streets in Mosgiel and South Dunedin now mostly receded, we have had some reports of sewage and other debris being left behind on residential lawns and streets. Please report any instances of this to us on 03 477 4000 and we will organise for contractors to help as we can.

Power outages
Power has been restored in the Leith Valley Road area. There is currently no estimated time for restoring power to properties in Henley where there has been damage to both poles and lines

The Dunedin City Council will arrange for a kerbside collection of sandbags in the Mosgiel and South Dunedin areas in the next few days. More details will be made available once confirmed.

Parks and recreation
Dog owners taking their dogs along the Silverstream Flood Bank track in Mosgiel are advised to take extreme care. The high rainfall in the Silverstream catchment may have swept possum carcasses poisoned with 1080 downstream.  Keep dogs on a lead at all times; carcasses will be extremely toxic to dogs if eaten. OSPRI has been asked to patrol the area and remove any carcasses.

There have been two slips onto the Frasers Gully walking track. Please stay away from this area until further notice. Second Beach walking track in St Clair is also closed due to a slip.

Keep up to date
This will be the last media release for today.
More information is available on the communication channels below, although please be aware that social media will not be actively monitored from 6pm today until tomorrow morning. [DCC Website]
DCC Facebook
DCC Twitter

█ The Emergency Operations Centre will remain open overnight with reduced staffing so, anyone with flood-related queries or issues should call 03 477 4000.

Previous DCC updates can be viewed at this link (scroll to bottom of page)



Emergency Management Otago update #10 3.45pm
Sunday, 23 July 2017

Clean-up operations are underway across Otago as floodwaters continue to recede in the region’s rivers.

Group Controller, Chris Hawker, said that the Waitaki and Clutha District Councils both closed their emergency operations centres this afternoon, with council staff and contractors continuing to repair damage to roads, water and wastewater systems as part of their normal business arrangements.

The Dunedin Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre is remaining open and the Otago Group Emergency Coordination Centre is also still activated in support.

About 10 properties in Milton are still evacuated because of flooding. In Outram, most of the families evacuated yesterday have been able to return home. Elsewhere in the Dunedin area, about 130 properties remain evacuated and these are mostly in the Henley and Taieri areas.

Mr Hawker said assistance was available to people whose property had been flooded or were impacted in other ways.

█ People who have been displaced from their homes can contact local community agencies such as Salvation Army, Presbyterian Support, Anglican Family, Catholic Social Services, Methodist Mission and Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora for assistance. All these agencies can be found online in the white pages of the phone book.

█ Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust are providing assistance for farmers: 0800 FARMING and 0800 RURAL HELP.

Regional Council engineers are assessing damage to stopbanks and pump stations as water levels drop, mindful that more rain is forecast for later in the week.

Mr Hawker said that the official transition to recovery would begin on Monday morning. “We have agreed with Mayor Dave Cull and ORC Chairman Stephen Woodhead that the Group Recovery Manager will be appointed so at 9am the Controllers will all stand down.”

Nick Donnelly, Director of Corporate Services at Otago Regional Council, is the Group Recovery Manager. Simon Pickford, Dunedin City Council’s General Manager Community Services and Development, will be the Dunedin Recovery Manager.

Mr Hawker said the structure of the Dunedin recovery office was being developed with the advice of Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management staff, who had arrived on Saturday to support the local response.

At this stage we are watching the forecast. River levels are still high and MetService is signalling that another front will be coming later in the week with significant snow in the Maniototo and Strath Taieri areas. My team will be working with ORC’s flood managers to assess the impact this might have on already saturated catchments.


This will be the last update from Emergency Management Otago for this event, unless the situation alters significantly.

The emergency coordination centre will stand down overnight from 6pm to 7.30am and remain activated until the transition to recovery is completed tomorrow.

Media inquiries to Michele Poole, Public Information Manager, 0278398306

Useful Links [ORC website]
Emergency Management Otago website:
ORC Facebook:
ORC Twitter: @OtagoRC
Emergency Management Otago Facebook:
Otago Regional Council river and rainfall information:

● All previous updates can be accessed at


Dunedin Civil Defence Emergency Management was live.
41 mins · Latest update from the bunker

1h ago 22 Jul 2017 at 4:25pm
Water water everywhere… Taieri flood protection largely working but still risks with high tide and head water flows converging.

(sp) Oturehua, Ida Valley, Central Otago


At Facebook:


At Twitter:


At Twitter:

[retweeted – Thu to Sat pattern]


█ Previous Post:
21.7.17 DCC ORC : Heavy rain warnings preparations #PublicNotice
Comments closed.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Business, Central Otago, DCC, Dunedin, Emergency services, Fire and Emergency NZ, Health & Safety, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, New Zealand, North Otago, NZTA, ORC, People, Police, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, South Dunedin, Transportation

64 responses to “Regional state of emergency lifted in Otago (incl Dunedin & Waitaki)

  1. Elizabeth


  2. Elizabeth

    RNZ News 1:12 pm Sat, 22 Jul 2017
    Southern saturation: Flooding in pictures
    Flooding around Canterbury and Otago has led to states of emergency being declared and evacuations.
    See the effects for yourself in pictures, with our gallery.

  3. Jackson

    Due to the DCC raising Wingatui Rd 100mm to protect the new housing development. Those on the wrong side of Wingatui Rd / Factory Rd intersection are being flooded. ORC appear to have sat on their hands, and allowed the raising of the road that has interfered with the stormwater flow patterns in this area.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      That’s disgraceful.
      Prof Ron Lister (Geography) re 1980 and other floods on Taieri recommended that there should be deliberate high “lanes” leading to higher land for stock to self-evac, only requiring fences to be cut which is really quick and not a biggie to repair compared with the alternative.
      Floods are nature.
      Flood*ing* is largely human-made by how we have chosen to build, use, abuse, and re-shape the land.

  4. Elizabeth

    [click to enlarge]The Dunedin Civil Defence emergency operations centre.
    Photo: RNZ/Ian Telfer


    RNZ News Live Update – Sat, 22 Jul 2017

    Good news regarding the Mill Creek pumphouse, just off the flooded Taieri River, that was under threat: Otago Regional Council says the situation is currently stable, though being closely monitored. “Shout out to the NZDF personnel who have been working alongside ORC’s staff and contractors to prevent the Mill Creek pumphouse being washed away,” the council posted on its Facebook page. “Sandbags and rocks have been used to plug most of a hole that was letting water back under the pumphouse at pressure from the Taieri into Mill Creek (instead of the other way around).”

    NZDF personnel at Mill Creek, Taieri
    Photo: Otago Regional Council (via

    A Defence Force spokesman says troops reassigned from a planned exercise to help with flood relief in Otago and Canterbury are being helped by a regiment from Scotland. The Scots were due to join a battalion from the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment in a 26-kilometre race around Dunedin’s surrounding hills. Brigadier Mike Shapland says about 200 troops are now working with civil defence authorities.

  5. Elizabeth

    1h ago 22 Jul 2017 at 4:25pm
    Water water everywhere… Taieri flood protection largely working but still risks with high tide and head water flows converging.

  6. Peter

    WTF. I see the Highlanders have managed to score a special flight up to Chch for tonight’s game against the Crusaders. How about others with real special needs?
    Disgusting favouritism….all for rugby. Again.
    A corrupt sport that leaves FIFA for dead. Who pushed for this? That inarticulate peasant Hansen for starters, l bet, along with his cronies.

  7. Gurglars

    What is really pissing me off is that the DCC are harvesting on social media their successes in cleaning the mudtanks. They have not claimed the fees paid to Fulton Hogan who took the mudcleaning truck away thus negating the contract, they have not apologised to South Dunedinites for reducing by half their property values through “managed retreat” and they haven’t acknowledged that Cull de Mayor’s bullshit explanation re climate change causing the South Dunedin floods has now proven to be a complete crock since they have apparently cleaned the mudtanks and thus disproved all their theories. When are we going to get Honesty and real measurable Accountability?

    • Kleinefeldmaus

      Yes Gurglars – and the present heavy rainfall that has resulted in minimal damage and disruption to services underscores it. The fact that the cause of that damage 2 years ago was negligence by both the contractor AND the DCC.
      [Mayor] Cull simply climbed onto the Climate Change bullshit wagon to excuse the [failings].

      {Moderated. -Eds}

      • Hype O'Thermia

        OK so Cull got it wrong about sea level rise in South Dunedin and was slammed on social media by people who bother to be aware of actual measurements – but look what sea level rise has caused in Outram. There are spooky little tunnels under the ground that the sea gushed into and came up there.

        • Kleinefeldmaus

          @ Hype O’Thermia

          Yes you were right about that and the threadbare political stance that Cull took then. As H. L. Mencken so aptly described it :-
          The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
          Still applies.

  8. Simon

    Taieri is suffering the same problems South Dunedin suffered in the last flood. Lack of maintenance by ORC in keeping drains clear, pump failures when they are most needed. ORC rush in and find $10 million for the stadium, but cannot find enough money to keep the drains clear. Chairman Woodhead is the area rep on ORC. Nothing done on the Taieri since the last big flood. Sounds like a good excuse to blame climate change again.

  9. Elizabeth

    Received 22/07/17 at 7:43 PM

    A small selection of photographs taken by ORC staff on a flight over the Taieri this morning.

    Taieri River at Outram Bridge (looking upstream)

    Taieri River Bridge at Henley-Berwick Road

    Taieri River floodway at Otokia (performing as planned)

    Heli-gauging flows on the Taieri River. A technique developed by ORC staff member Paul Hannah where the yellow flow-gauging device is streamed from the helicopter.

    Henley Township

    Mill Creek Pump Station (water should be flowing into the Taieri, not into Mill Creek)

    Riverside Road spillway in action (Upper Taieri Ponding area)

    Photo credit: Otago Regional Council

  10. Jackson

    Mosgiel’s drainage system was designed in the 1950s for a population of a couple of thousand. With all the new subdivisions, the pipe sizes have never increased to meet the demand. Money has gone to swimming pools, cycle ways and to prop up the stadium. Time for the community board to stand up and represent the basic needs of the community instead of more vanity projects for the town.

  11. Elizabeth

    Rural life is one thing, tied to agricultural and horticultural production.

    Residential and lifestyle subdivision on a FLOOD PLAIN should never have been allowed. Criminal.

  12. Rob Hamlin

    Cull claimed on National Radio this morning that the lack of flooding in South Dunedin was due to it having “dodged a bullet” and having less rainfall than in the 2015 event.

    As I have long since learned not to believe him, does anybody who is seriously involved in the issue have reliable information with regard to this?

    • Elizabeth

      At Facebook:

      Dave Hickson Today the radio was reporting that South Dunedin, St Kilda and the low lying areas of St Clair never flooded this time, great news, I believe Cull said that it never rained that hard in those areas or words to that effect. Other listeners called in to say the now maintained drains managed the water and it was raining as hard as last time. if thats that case I’d expect to see some situations vacant in the DCC including Cull’s position as Mayor.
      1 hr

    • Gurglars

      It didn’t rain in South Dunedin. a whole f- ing hillside collapsed in a slip in St Clair.

      The last time I looked St Clair was in South Dunedin and I lived in Ravenswood Rd, Cliffs Road and we had/ have never had a slip like it.

      Is Cull suggesting it was pissing down on St Clair hill and not in South Dunedin 200 metres away??

      • Elizabeth

        May I say Gurglars that slips and landslides occur sometimes with little warning but….
        We Must Consult The 2GP To Know Ze Hazard Rules. Ze Truth Shall Follow.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      South Dunedin had less rainfall…… OF COURSE!
      I was talking to a woman from Bayfield Rd who’d got 3 loads of washing dry that day on the rotary clothesline. Including her hubby’s heavy quality blue jeans.

    • Lyndon Weggery

      Media reports suggest the rainfall was measured at 93mm over a 12 hour period as compared to 180mm for a much shorter period in June 2015 in South Dunedin. Apart from the slip in Ravenswood Rd my worry for local residents of Surrey and Fitzroy Sts is the mix of stormwater and sewerage that flowed along these streets and under at least one house last weekend because DCC have not yet addressed the “cross connection” sitting below the street on the corner of Surrey St and Hillside Rd. I have been onto DCC about this for the last two years and have been told that work is pending until they see what effect the Kaikorai Valley Stormwater Renewals have in diverting water away from South Dunedin. While Stages I & II have been completed I am at a loss to understand why Stage III has been put on hold. While DCC gain credit for a job well done last weekend I personally would not take the polite pressure off the Mayor to ensure everything is done to minimise the impact of future extreme rainfall events on the South Dunedin catchment.

  13. Elizabeth

    “SD isn’t getting a mention cos it doesn’t flood that much if basic maintenance and operations are in place” was a comment made last night in an email from consulting engineer Neil Johnstone.

    We will publish more on South Dunedin as it comes to hand. Have a feeling JimmyJones will have something to say on rainfall figures and intensity before long.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      Invariably, questions are being asked around town about the differences between rainfall events (intensity and duration) for June 2015, April 2017, and July 2017, respectively. Important questions.

      Until comparative official rainfall figures are published and or made available in combination with official reports on infrastructure performance questions will remain open for the public.

      The June 2015 floods cost $138million, according to Mayor Cull in the ODT (24.5.16).

  14. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  15. Elizabeth

    RNZ News about 1 hour ago
    Eyes on Taieri River in flood-hit Dunedin
    A state of emergency remains in place in Dunedin and there is plenty of damage following yesterday’s heavy rain, the city’s mayor says. Dunedin mayor Dave Cull said there were still many slips on the road and the weather was freezing, with black ice on many city streets. Council officers were out laying grit, he said.

    “We’re now coming into the recovery part – there’s still a lot of water lying around” – Dave Cull
    from Sunday Morning Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (2′ 53″)

    On the Taieri Plain, Dunedin Civil Defence said two houses in Outram were badly flooded but most of the approximately 100 people who had to get out on Friday could now return. However, it said some residents of the nearby township of Henley might have to stay away for days. All its residents were evacuated on Friday night and there was no timeframe for them to return. The power was still out to 30 homes there, and some of the power lines and poles have been badly damaged.

    Another 30 homes in Leith Valley still have their electricity out too, but that was expected to be fixed today.
    One of Dunedin’s key highways, Portobello Road, cleared yesterday after landslips, is again closed after a collision between a car and a truck. It is likely to stay shut most of today.
    And 12 houses near Ravenswood Street in St Clair remained evacuated until further notice because of a slip.
    Mr Cull said the Taieri River was still very high and he didn’t expect it to come down much today because water was still pouring off the hills.

    The Dunedin City Council urged motorists to avoid all non-essential travel today across the roading network, but particularly in the Taieri and Otago Peninsula areas, and told them not to go rubber-necking.

    Work to clear a slip on Harington Point Road just past the turnoff to Harwood would not start until at least tomorrow, which meant residents on the Otago Peninsula north of Harwood were effectively cut off, with no alternative access route available. Otakou Marae had been door-knocking in the area and staff were supporting welfare needs.

    Read/listen to full report

  16. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

  17. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    Dunedin Civil Defence Emergency Management was live.
    41 mins · Latest update from the bunker


    TVNZ 1 News 12:11pm
    Otago residents slowly returning home following deluge, but Dunedin and Christchurch remain in State of Emergency
    Source: NZN
    Some Taieri Plains residents have been allowed to return to their homes following the weekend’s heavy deluge but a Dunedin slip has forced the evacuation of a dozen properties. [several videos]

    WATCH: ‘Dunedin emergency response teams in full swing after record rainfalls’ – chopper footage shows South Dunedin little affected.


    TVNZ 1 News 8:04am
    Worst is over for flood-ravaged South Island, but sub-zero temperatures and high tides proving a headache
    Source: NZN
    The worst may be over for the flood-ravaged South Island but sub-zero temperatures and high tides may prove headaches for the clean-up.

    WATCH: ‘Otago cleans up after floods caused by record rainfall’
    Farmers in Otago hurried to move stock, while slips in Dunedin are still a concern.

  18. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    Sun, 23 Jul 2017
    ODT: Dozens still out of flood-hit homes as clean-up begins
    Clean-up operations are under way across Otago as flood waters continue to recede in the region’s rivers following a severe storm. Dozens of residents would remain out of their homes overnight as evacuations on the Taieri Plains continue following the second largest rain event on record there. The wild storm, bringing heavy rain and powerful gales, began on Friday afternoon and caused widespread flooding and disruption across Dunedin, Waitaki and Clutha, as well as flooding and snow in parts of Central Otago.
    Otago’s state of emergency was expected to end on Monday morning as authorities transitioned to the recovery phase of the emergency which bought downpours to the eastern coast of the lower South Island. While Monday should be settled, more bad weather was expected from Tuesday. MetService meteorologist Angus Hines said other storms “were lining up to bring more rain”. Significant snow was forecast for the Maniototo and Strath Taieri areas. Cont/

  19. Elizabeth

    Last updated 14:42, July 23 2017
    Stuff: Otago farm almost entirely submerged by flood waters
    By Sam Sherwood
    John Parks’ farm is almost entirely underwater. The Taieri Plains farmer has endured numerous floods since he bought the property south of Dunedin in 1961. This one was different, he said. “There was a real crisis at the Mill Creek pump. The water was leaking through the floodbank and there was a real danger that the whole bank would collapse.” His home sits “right in the line of fire” of the flood-prone Taieri River. “I wouldn’t have liked to be in front of it if it had burst. It would have just been a wall of water.” Parks received a knock at the door about midday on Saturday telling his family to leave the property. His wife and daughter left, but Parks stayed behind to move his stock. The animals made it to safety, but his farm was not so lucky.
    As he walks along what little grass remains visible with his dog beside him, he estimates about 90 per cent of his 200-hectare property is submerged.
    “I don’t know how you would describe it. In the early days there were no floodbanks so we’d have this often, but this I think is the second-biggest flood on record. “All this water is just sitting here and it’s not going to go until the Taieri River drops.” The Otago Regional Council confirmed the storm had generated the second-biggest flood on record for the Taieri River.  “It’s going to take days in some places for this water to drain away,” it said in a statement.

    Note: Some area photos with the article were supplied by the Otago Regional Council.

  20. Elizabeth

    TV3 Newshub 36 minutes ago
    Weather: Clean-up begins after devastating South Island storms
    By Emma Cropper
    About 130 homes in the flooded Henley and Taieri areas near Dunedin remain empty for another night. “Some of these residents may not be able to return to their homes for several days,” says Dunedin civil defence controller Sue Bidrose. Fine weather on Sunday allowed councils in Otago and Canterbury to clear slips and open many roads after a winter storm dumped record amounts of rain. The weather station at Oamaru Airport had 147mm of rainfall, more than triple the July average of 40mm, says MetService meteorologist Angus Hines.
    People are being warned flood water is likely to be contaminated, farmers are making arrangements for stock, and slips are being cleared from roads. Welfare centres have closed.

    […] MetService said the rain storm was so devastating because it was slow moving. Most places from Christchurch to Dunedin recorded more than the long-term average July rainfall in just 24 to 48 hours.
    A state of emergency was called in many South Island towns and the army sent in troops and trucks.
    A pair of fronts are due in the next few days but the heaviest rain will be in western areas of the South Island. A heavy rain warning is in place for a burst of heavy rain in Fiordland early on Monday morning, while a severe weather watch for heavy rain has been issued further up the west coast.

    From Thursday, another winter storm with rain looks likely to affect Canterbury and much of the South Island.
    Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy said civil defence emergency management groups had acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way. “The impacts of these floods will be felt for some time in communities throughout Canterbury and Otago. The Government is ready to provide support where it’s needed, and financial assistance is available to local authorities that have been affected,” he said.
    While local states of emergencies were being withdrawn as river levels in both Canterbury and Otago receded, authorities were mindful further rain was forecast in coming days, he said.

  21. Elizabeth

    █ Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust are providing assistance for farmers: 0800 FARMING and 0800 RURAL HELP.

    At Twitter:


    ### ODT Online Sun, 23 Jul 2017
    Help sought for flood-hit farmers
    By Timothy Brown
    The Otago Regional Council is calling on any farmers in the wider region able to offer support to those affected by the weekend’s deluge to contact Federated Farmers. Dozens of properties on the Taieri Plains remain evacuated with paddocks and pastures inundated with water from a wild storm that began on Friday afternoon. Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said on Sunday it would be a difficult road ahead for farmers affected by the downpour and they would need assistance from the wider rural community.
    “Federated Farmers is seeking assistance with feed and grazing,” he said. “Those land holders in the surround districts that have food and assistance available please contact the 0800 number for Federated Farmers. It’s a critical time of year – particularly for the dairy sector that are only one, two or three weeks away from calving.”
    Mr Woodhead also called on people feeling overwhelmed to contact the Otago Rural Support Trust for assistance.
    Farmers who remained evacuated from their properties should follow the advice of authorities, he said.
    “We know people that have been evacuated are anxious to get back to their homes as soon as they can, but please follow the advice we give around that.”
    ODT Link

    Who to contact 
    • Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
    • Otago Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254

  22. Elizabeth

    Residents in Waitati, Seacliff and Waikouaiti are being asked to conserve water after heavy rain affected supply systems in those areas.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 23 Jul 2017
    Residents asked to watch water use
    By Timothy Brown
    Formal water restrictions were not being imposed following the storm on Friday and Saturday, but [Waitati, Seacliff and Waikouaiti] residents were asked to watch water usage as supplies remained limited at present, Dunedin City Council water and waste planning delivery manager Tom Dyer said on Sunday. Supply for Waitati and Seacliff was affected by power outages in Leith Valley, which had impacted on a supply station in the area. “We have got a day-and-a-half supply,” Mr Dyer said. It was hoped power would be restored by the end of Sunday, but residents should remain mindful of the limited supply until the station was again functioning. The council was also not taking water from the Waikouaiti River due to contamination from silt following the downpour. Two to three days of supply was available in the area, but again the council was urging restraint. Authorities were still asking people to treat all floodwater as contaminated.
    ODT Link

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    Wouldn’t you think that with the rural knowledge being demonstrated, and the advice of Prof Lister after flooding that was so disastrous to stock, the urban planners, developers, permit-granters etc would have a “AHA!” moment and NOT make potential lakes by raising barriers (roading), and generally deal with serious but hardly uncommon events AHEAD of time? 1980 may be a long way back for planners etc, but there were photographs in those olden days. There were newspaper reports. There are even people still living in those areas who could – I suddenly thought of that hot favourite in TV dramas, you know, when the vicar asks if anyone knows of any reason why this couple should not be joined in marriage. “Is there anyone in the community who knows why this proposal {Plan XZY} is likely to cause major problems such as they have local wisdom about?”

    • Elizabeth

      What were the stock movement issues – no overt or insurmountable problems reported given advance weather warnings allowing stock to be moved to higher ground. Some horses and sheep caught in quite small numbers. The difficult part is providing interim relief for grazing beyond the flooded farms – this is typically absorbed (via truck or droving) by other farmers within the district or without; with supplementary winter feed bought and donated from the province or outside. We’ve all helped or needed help in the past – flood or drought. Farming is not unsophisticated.

      The question might be was the Otago Regional Council up to the job of controlling flood waters on the Taieri. In the next few days we will find out.

      Their performance in supplying flood plain mapping and information to the DCC second generation plan has been nothing short of shambolic given ORC staff seemed not tp have left their desks to physically examine contours and waterways against their ERRONEOUS computer modelling. Then DCC planning swallowed it whole. God help us.

      It has taken observant landowners and members of the public to make corrective submissions – and these prior to appeals to the Environment Court in some cases given the zoning and overlay effects on land use, land values and future striking of rates.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I clearly remember the photos of drowned stock, washed down and caught in fences. Probably the 1980 flood. It was horrifying. Farmers however have *learned* and *shared knowledge* and *taken action*. Thank goodness computer modelling hadn’t been available, now they’ve got their shit sorted – as well as it can be while weather and humans exist.
        As you say Elizabeth, computer modelling isn’t enough. ORC fail. Without double checking that ALL input is correct, ALL programs are appropriate for the task and applied appropriately, bullshit gushes out. Results of modelling should be triple checked by comparing them, where possible, with the physical evidence.
        E.g. actual sea level rise at the nearest points with robust records going back way before last Pancake Tuesday.

  24. Elizabeth

    Link received.
    Mon, 24 Jul 2017 at 12:52 p.m.

    “When the rain falls and the drains block.”

    ### Last updated 05:00, July 24 2017
    Drains aren’t as sexy as a movie museum, but just wait till they’re blocked
    By Dave Armstrong
    OPINION: When I awoke early on Friday morning I could hear steady rain outside. Fortunately, it wasn’t a 1-in-150-year flood, which New Zealand has had quite a few of in the past 10 years. When I looked outside, small waves appeared to be lapping at my front gate. Was I still asleep and dreaming of a holiday in Bali?
    No, a drain was blocked and all the parked cars on our side of the Wellington street had water just below their chassis. I grabbed a mop and, still in bare feet and dressing gown, gingerly waded towards the blocked drain. There I prodded and poked the handle end of the mop but to no avail.
    After a few seconds my bare feet were frozen, so heavy tramping boots were put on, and I continued my probe, still with no results. The top of the drain, which usually gets filled with leaves and plastic bottles after heavy rain, was clear. The problem was deep inside our street’s antique stormwater system.
    Read more

  25. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Jul 2017
    Otago waits to mop up
    By Timothy Brown
    Otago’s state of emergency has been lifted.
    Emergency Management Otago this morning lifted the state of emergency which existed since deluges and heavy wind battered Otago’s eastern coast over the weekend. The region has now officially entered a recovery phase with teams moving on to assessing the damage and checking on the needs of those affected by the devastating floods.
    More than 100 residences on the Taieri Plains remain evacuated with smaller enclaves of evacuations in place throughout the wider Dunedin area.
    Dunedin City Council communications and marketing manager Graham McKerracher said the city’s roads were a priority for council staff with many slips still affecting the city and 43 road closures at present.
    The emergency operations centre remains open and council general manager community services and development Simon Pickford has been appointed recovery manager.
    A Clutha District Council spokeswoman said welfare people, building and health inspectors were out and providing support where necessary.
    A conserve water notice is currently in place for Rural Water Schemes Balmoral 1, 2, Tuapeka as well as for the township of Waihola, she said.
    Deluges that hammered the South Island’s lower eastern coast still plagued many rural settlements yesterday. Henley was without power and 35 homes were still evacuated.
    All flood waters should be treated as contaminated as a precaution.
    Read the extended report with local updates

    ● Dunedin City Council (03) 477-4000
    ● Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
    ● Otago Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254

  26. Elizabeth

    “There will be frustration,” –Simon Pickford, DCC recovery manager

    ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Jul 2017
    143 residents still unable to return home after floods
    By Timothy Brown
    Residents remain out of 143 homes following the storm which buffeted Dunedin and eastern Otago during the weekend. Dozens of homes may be uninhabitable, but assessments were still taking place, authorities say. The state of emergency was lifted this morning, but Emergency Management Otago kept some powers under the recovery phase of the operation. The evacuations from last night remained in place with no residents yet able to return home, recovery manager Simon Pickford said. A further evacuation in Harington Point Rd had also been added to the tally.
    Mr Pickford again emphasised the importance of treating all flood water as contaminated after authorities received reports of sewage contaminating water in residential properties in the city.
    Four houses have been served with dangerous building notices.
    Residents needed to take all cautions and remain away from properties inundated at present.
    Read more

  27. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  28. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  29. Elizabeth


    ### ODT Online Mon, 24 Jul 2017
    Praise for volunteers, services
    By Samuel White
    The worst of the weekend rain forced evacuations in Milton and flooded streets in Lawrence. Milton Fire and Emergency New Zealand chief officer Robbie Phillips said the brigade was asked to help evacuate people about 7pm on Friday as the rain set in. Streets on the western side of Union St were evacuated and residents  moved into local motels and a temporary emergency shelter set up at the Toko Rugby Club rooms. People were also billeted with other residents in the town, Mr Phillips said.
    ….Lawrence was also hit particularly badly by high water. Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the main street, Ross Pl, was flooded and water levels at local businesses were knee-deep. It was devastating to see firsthand the people go through the experience. He said it was a testing time for communities. He hoped everyone would be able to recover  quickly.
    Mr Cadogan commended the efforts put in by volunteers and emergency services. “Everyone did a magnificent job.” He could not say enough good things about all the groups that “dug it in” and helped their community.
    Read more

  30. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

  31. Rob Hamlin

    “Dunedin’s wettest July day since 1918″…..So says the NIWA tweet above. This strangely does not concur with a certain sagacious local persona’s version of events – Their public call is that 2015 was way, way wetter. Perhaps the response from said persona to this inconsistency will be – “You, NIWA, are a pack of tweetin’ liars!” On past form this could be an opportunity for NIWA to clean up a quick fifty grand after producing the necessary evidence – no doubt they’re as hard up as every other environmental agency around here. .

  32. Elizabeth

    Might need to break down Dunedin’s huge geographical area… to keep the theories sweet.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I was watching ORC’s excellent site (also Dunedin, North Otago)
      to see where this storm had got to. It was a very small, very intense storm. Previously when flooding occurs on the Taieri and around Dunedin, the flow sites started flashing red (high water flow) farthest from the sea, then nearer and nearer – rain was falling heavily over a large area, running into the creeks > streams > rivers.
      This time, since the storm was forecast to be making its way south from Christchurch, Timaru… I watched the North Otago map too. Only a few of the stations farthest east flashed red, and the same when it came down this far. It really was a tightly wound up, dense little Rainstorm of Fury.
      I can believe that within quite short distances the amount it chucked down would have varied considerably. As for South Dunedin dodging a bullet, might it not be more accurate to say that it was previously seriously attacked by “friendly fire” in the form of failure to perform the duties we imagined we paid our rates for?

  33. Rob Hamlin

    One wonders how lucky Dunedin was with the Leith. People may be aware that expensive flood protection and beautification has been going on there for years.

    The first bit of this was outside the Commerce Building and consisted of several really quite silly grassed areas going right down to the water. These lawns were repeatedly washed away by any moderate flood, but after some three to four attempts, extra gear (AquaDesso for turf in river beds floods – or so it seemed) and presumably a lot of cash they did get the wretched stuff to ‘take’ to a degree – after months of effort. However, they had yet to front to a ‘biggie’ in flood terms.

    Meanwhile even more impressive works were in train in front of the Clock Tower, which involved digging out one side of the Leith into a gentle slope and installing all sorts of monumental works.

    Once these two sites were fully complete, apparently the ‘logical’ next step was to complete the bit in the middle where the Leith turns sharp left and goes under the IT services building. If the Leith is going to burst its banks and flood the City this point is most likely to be where it is going to do it – so I guess it makes sense to do it last.

    Of course it was at this point that somebody realised that this middle bit could not be accessed with the required heavy machinery without them going over the newly and expensively landscaped bits on either side – crunch, crunch crunchety crunch – Oh dear!

    It seems that in order to deal with the access conundrum, the decision was made to destroy the (relatively) less expensively landscaped lawns and features in front of the Commerce Building – at that point only a year or so old. The destruction eventually encompassed the aqua-desso sloped lawns, plus the newly installed lawns, paths and landscaped flood stop banks behind it too.

    The agent of destruction, in addition to the inevitable fences, yards and portacabins was a full scale temporary metalled road that leads from Clyde Street, down the bank, across the river on a causeway some five feet high with four massive concrete drains pipes installed to let the river through and on up the other side of the river bed under the IT building.

    However, by creating this thing they had effectively created a dam some five feet high in the bed of the river, in winter, immediately below what appears to be the most critical and vulnerable part of the flood defences.

    Well last weekend happened, and perhaps most fortunately the causeway proved to be constructed to a standard that we have become accustomed to in this part of the World when it comes to drains, dams and sea walls. This morning revealed that it has completely disappeared.

    Its more massive rock constituents are scattered for hundreds of yards down the river bed. The smaller ones have completely vanished and presumably have now contributed to the bar in the Harbour at the outlet of the Leith. Two of the massive concrete pipes lie as clean as whistles in the river bed, one about 150 yards downstream in the subsidiary channel where the Leith divides next to Forth St, with another a bit further upstream. The other two have been bodily tossed up onto the river banks. Significant portions of the surviving aquadesso lawns on both sides have been ripped up (again)..

    Work has already begun today to rebuild it al!!l.
    . .. . .

  34. Wingatui Flyer

    I see the ministry of propaganda has been busy at the ODT. The DCC and ORC appear to have done a marvelous job with flood protection. They find a couple of people to sing the praises of council, but conveniently forget the flood victims who through no fault of their own have become flood victims of DCC/ORC lack of, or worse still, attempts to divert flood waters away from subdivisions. If one is to believe Woodhead, and “Flood work vindicated”. One has to wonder if he has had his head buried in the sand (floodwater). Or could he possibly be referring to the flood work by raising Wingatui Rd to save Syd’s new development. It certainly worked by holding back water, but flooded those on the upper side of Wingatui Rd. Then there is all the extra flood waters in Mosgiel around the new housing beside Memorial Gardens, and Tyne St, and let’s not forget those on Dukes Rd / Riccarton Rd. Big promises made after the last big flood there, and still nothing done. Some of those residents have had three floods through their property in the last few years. But read the ODT and “years pf planning have been vindicated”, the flood protection has worked well. Yeah Right.

  35. Elizabeth

    The last two days, a run down.

    At Facebook:

  36. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  37. Elizabeth

    Flood recovery meeting for Mosgiel
    Wed 26 July 2017 at Coronation Hall, Mosgiel, 7pm

    Residents have an opportunity to hear the latest about flood recovery work around Mosgiel and the Taieri Plain at a public meeting tonight.

    DCC elected members and staff will be joined by Otago Regional Council representatives, who will talk about what is happening with water and infrastructure matters around the Plain.

    Read more

  38. Arnold

    A chocolate fish to the first person to name who it was at the Mosgiel meeting that blamed climate change.

  39. Arnold

    A well orchestrated meeting held under a tight rein. Comments made by several after the meeting: “This is just a rerun of the bullshit that we heard at the last flood meeting a few years back.” One bright spark was heard to say after the meeting, “The ORC & DCC should be issued with mirrors for the next meeting, as most of the replies to question were “We will look into it.””

  40. Brian Miller

    Having attended the flood meeting in Mosgiel last night, Vaughan Elder of the ODT has done very well in reporting the meeting with the limited space and time available.
    What I found to be of a serious concern was that the two elected representatives of the ORC Molyneux constituency that covers the Taieri area, Carmen Hope and Stephen Woodhead (chair of the ORC) were not in attendance, and no apologies were given for their non appearance. One can only hope that their reasons for non appearance were more important to them than the tragedy that has unfolded for many of their constituents they represent, who have had contaminated flood waters flow through homes and businesses.

    It would appear that out of the 12 elected ORC members, only 2 attended. Of the City Councillors, Hall, Lord and Cull were in attendance, others may have been there, but I may have failed to recognise them as no introduction of Councillors other than Cull was given.

    Mayor Cull is reported in the ODT when discussing the community cost for flood protection that decisions could cost $200 million plus. We have a stadium that has been of a greater cost than any flood protection, and we are continually having pushed down our throats the economic benefits of the stadium to the city.

    Maybe CEO Bidrose could tell us of the economic benefits to the Mosgiel and wider Dunedin community of spending $200 million upgrading failing infrastructure to safeguard the 10,000 plus population, homes and businesses of the Taieri from future disasters.

  41. Kleinefeldmaus

    @Arnold 27th July 2017
    Well. It might have been a well orchestrated meeting but according to the ODT this morning he couldn’t help but bring in the boogieman hobgoblin of climate change.

    Here is my take on that!

  42. Gurglars

    We have not got enough money to provide infrastructure – Stokes

    See we spent it on Stadiums and Cycleways and too many staff!

    The flooding is a result of climate change and we can’t afford to fix it – Cull.

    When will he realise that poor or negligible maintenance caused South Dunedin floods and poor maintenance worsened Mosgiel flooding.

    Take responsibility you Turkey!

  43. Jacob

    Council have no money for Mosgiel infrastructure, but can find $6 million plus any additional costs towards a new Mosgiel pool. They have their priorities in the right order. Vanity before basics.

  44. Bell Ringer

    If you listen quietly you may here the distant bankruptcy bells ringing over Dunedin. Millions needed to pay for the South Dunedin flood infrastructure. Millions needed for the Mosgiel and Taieri flood infrastructure. Millions needed to make up for Delta’s losses. Millions needed by Aurora for pole/infrastructure replacement. Millions needed to service stadium debt. Another $100 million to be borrowed in the LTP. Who pays to stop those distant bells ringing ? You the ratepayer.

  45. Rob Hamlin


    How dare you! The new Mosgiel swimming pool is a vital part of the economic structure of Mosgiel. Potential purchasers of large homes in the proposed new ‘Spillway Views’ and ‘Septic Ponds’ subdivisions will be invited to community orientation experiences at the pool.

    For these events sofas, TVs, computers, beds and kitchen units will be realistically arranged on the bottom of the pool in concept show home layouts so that the potential residents can get used to what their new lives in Spillway Views and Septic Ponds will be like. The secondary paddling pools will be used to showcase the facilities that will be offered on the upper floors of these residences.The pool is of course heated to resemble conditions that are brought about by global warming. Building company representatives will be on hand in the pool cafes to discuss the optimal designs.

    On the regular occasions when it will be possible, part of the flow of the Silverstream will be diverted down into the new pool during these events to add an interesting population of mud, rubbish, cowshit, and the corpses of sheep, deer, dogs, and possums killed by 1080 up in the hills weeks previously to these domestic showcases.

    As the inundation of these new Taieri developments to roof level is expected twice yearly as a result of one in a hundred year weather events (that contain one in a thousand year freak rain-free holes above South Dunedin) this facility and the experiences that it will offer are therefore essential to avoid post-purchase dissonance in these developments. This is essential for Mosgiel going forward, and the economic impact (in Wanaka where the developers and inspectors will be by then) will be enormous.

  46. Elizabeth

    Sheer brilliance, Rob. I was thinking about my retirement. Catered for on the plain, by Dunedin’s best.

  47. Elizabeth

    A Facebook:

    Wed, 2 Aug 2017
    ODT: Handling of situation better: Bidrose
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin’s recent flooding caused everything from pollution on city beaches to more than 500 call-outs to roading and waste-water issues. A Dunedin City Council meeting also heard that while infrastructure in South Dunedin dealt with the deluge, if the rainfall had been of the same intensity as 2015, it could have been a different story. A meeting of the council yesterday heard a wrap of the events of the last week and a-half. […] Chief executive Sue Bidrose told councillors the city’s staff, and the community, had handled the flood better than in 2015. Dr Bidrose said there were areas of low-lying housing the council needed to think about, as well as development on the Taieri ”that is certainly stretching our infrastructure”. Dr Bidrose said staff would report back to the council on those issues. The meeting voted to acknowledge and thank staff, the Otago Regional Council, emergency services and community volunteers “for a job well done” in working through the flood event and recovery phases.


    At Facebook:

    Some farms on the Taieri Plain are still under more than a metre of water and as that clears away, it leaves sodden and silt-covered pasture which is no good for feeding animals. –Nathan Guy

    Wed, 2 Aug 2017
    ODT: Funding, support as medium-scale adverse event declared
    By Timothy Brown
    The Government has announced $800,000 in assistance for farmers affected by last month’s deluge in Otago.
    Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy yesterday declared the flooding which followed the downpour on July 21 and 22
    a medium-scale adverse event. He made the announcement during a visit to Dunedin city councillor Mike Lord’s property near Henley to “see first-hand the devastation that this flood has caused”. “There’s still a fair bit of water to come off these low-lying properties,” the minister said. “I know that events like this can have quite an impact on your mental wellbeing.” The classification triggered additional funding to assist those hit by the deluge, including installing a co-ordinator to run a flood recovery committee; extra funding for the Rural Support Trust; taxation flexibility; and an enhanced Taskforce Green scheme which matched jobseekers with clean-up work on farms and in urban areas. Mr Guy, who is also the Minister of Civil Defence, announced a $50,000 contribution to Dunedin’s mayoral relief fund. The contribution would be matched by the Dunedin City Council, Mr Guy said. Cont/


    Farmers coping with floods well, so far
    Farmers are managing well after the July 21 floods but should not hesitate to seek help in the weeks to come. That is the message from Rural Support Trust co-ordinators throughout the region.

  48. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

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