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Mark Townsend

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Mark Townsend is a Professional Civil Engineer and is the Engineering Manager at Bay of Plenty Regional Council. He leads a team comprising of River Engineers, Hydrologists, Surveyors and Project Engineers. Mark is the business owner of a long term project called the River Scheme Sustainability Project that is looking out 100 years to determine a Sustainable River Management Strategies.
Mark will reflect on the 2017 Cyclone Debbie Flood Recovery Project and how opportunity was lost to make room for the river.

2017 Cyclone Debbie Flood Recovery Project

Thurs 11:20 am

2017 ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie Recovery Project
In April 2017 the Bay of Plenty was hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie resulting in heavy rainfall, swollen rivers, widespread flooding and extensive damage to river infrastructure.
Landowner expectation, insurance requirements, a lack of planning and community agreement has resulted in repair methods that are dominated by rock that is placed to reinstate the river alignment back to where it was prior to the flood.

While some gains were able to be made the recovery project is considered to be a lost opportunity to “make room for the river”. This presentation will outline the constraints experienced and reflects on what could’ve been done better if a plan was in place that was agreed by an engaged community. This recovery project is being used as a case study for the New Zealand Rivers Managers research into best practice.