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Betterment work to get underway on part of Westport’s stormwater system

14 Feb 2023

Buller District Council is close to completing the crucial investigation and design work ahead of construction of stormwater improvements for the Coates Street area in Westport.

This betterment work is part of a wider $17.1m programme of infrastructure repairs funded by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The essential infrastructure funding was granted after the July 2021 and February 2022 flood events. For water, the first phase was immediate repair works of the 3 waters infrastructure. This second phase is focused on betterment of the damaged 3 waters infrastructure. It essentially identifies work that can logically and cost-effectively be performed as part of, or directly after, emergency works.

The betterment improvement to the stormwater system is intended to minimise stormwater accumulating in the Coates Street area. Site investigations have taken place and a concept plan has been designed. The next stage is to verify the flow and extent of the stormwater catchment to confirm the proposed concept plan. Once these are finalised the construction phase of the project will occur in two stages.

Stage one includes building an open swale drain to the north of the houses and a concrete dish drain along part of Coates Street. These drains will lead stormwater into further drains behind and to the south of the Polytechnic building.

Stage two is to build a proposed swale drain next to the old railway line embankment around the lagoon.

Both drains are on council land or road. Leaseholders will be consulted on the proposed works. Residents are welcome to contact council for any questions or to supply feedback to the plans.

Council’s acting chief executive officer Rachel Townrow says: “We will start with the first stage as soon as possible once the catchment stormwater is confirmed, preparation is completed, and we have signed up a contractor.”

The swale drain alignment will need to be discussed with the West Coast Regional Council, which is designing the floodwall, and impacted landowners before physical works can start on stage two.”

Both stages are part of a much more comprehensive solution including the construction of a floodwall surrounding Westport and stormwater pump stations. These pump stations will pump stormwater into the river and lagoon areas.

This comprehensive solution is part of the $56 million co-investment proposal to improve Westport’s flood resilience known as the Kawatiri Business Case. This proposal is currently being considered by Central Government.


For more information please contact:
Acting Manager Infrastructure Planning
Mel Sutherland

Photo: Coates Street stormwater improvements