Protecting Kāpiti Against Flooding

It was win-win at the Kāpiti Gravel Grab this year. Over 200 vehicles took trailer loads of gravel and riverstone for residents’ home and garden projects and helped protect their community from flooding at the same time. That’s around 50 cubic meters of gravel that will help reduce flooding and erosion problems downstream of the Ōtaki Bridge.

River stone naturally makes its way down to the lower reaches of rivers, causing river bed levels to gradually rise. As a result it is easier for rivers to overflow their stopbanks, causing floods.

Each year Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) removes about 50,000 cubic metres from locations along the Ōtaki River to help ease erosion pressure on river banks and increase the river’s capacity to cope with flooding.

The GWRC Gravel Grab has grown in popularity over the last eight years and attracts keen landscapers and DIYers to collect material for their projects. Normally permission is needed to remove gravel and stones from the river and it is usually only granted for hand picking stones.

The event was a great opportunity for GWRC Flood Protection Officers and the River Ranger to meet people and chat about the ways they like to use the river or hear about ideas for improvement.