HB Flood Review Panel
HB Flood Review Panel: Phil Mitchell (chair), Bernadette Arapere and Kyle Christensen

The process to independently review the performance of Hawke’s Bay’s flood scheme assets and river management programmes in response to Cyclone Gabrielle is underway, and community feedback is now sought.

The Review, instigated by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle and the flooding which significantly impacted the region, is set to be completed by May 2024.

The Review is independent of the Council and covers all of Hawke’s Bay from Wairoa to Pōrangahau.

As part of fact-finding, the Review wants to hear from individuals, iwi/hapū/marae, communities, businesses, and organisations who have information relevant to the Review. 

An online response form can be used here.

And the Review has its own website here.

The Review is looking at:

  • Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s flood management schemes and programmes from Wairoa to Pōrangahau
  • How each flood management scheme and programme performed
  • Decisions made by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s during Cyclone Gabrielle
  • Options to increase the region’s long- term flood resilience

It is not investigating district or city council roles and responsibilities during Cyclone Gabrielle, local civil defence emergency management responses, or the recovery phase of the flooding.

The purpose of the Review is to seek to understand the circumstances and contributing factors that led to the flooding.

This includes looking at flood management schemes and programmes and how each performed, the decisions made by the Council during the cyclone, and whether these remain viable.

The Review will also consider and recommend a wider range of total catchment options to make the schemes and programmes more resilient into the future.

A panel of three independent reviewers is conducting the Review, with experience in resource management, engineering, and the law, as well as experience in these types of reviews.

The independent panel are Phil Mitchell (chair), Bernadette Arapere and Kyle Christensen.

Since their appointment in August, the panel has commenced the process of information gathering and completed planning their approach to engaging with flood-affected communities.

Panel Chair Phil Mitchell said it was important to get community input to guide the panel in the planning stage.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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