FAQ's

What’s the project about?

We’re improving current levels of flood protection for the Pinehaven community by increasing the capacity of the Pinehaven Stream through a structural improvements project.

These works are delivering the vision for a prosperous and safe community that proactively manages the risk of flooding through structural improvements and planning controls through the Upper Hutt District Plan.

[Refer: Floodplain Management Plan www.gw.govt.nz/pinehavenstream/).

This is a joint project between Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Upper Hutt City Council (UHCC) implemented by Wellington Water Ltd.

Why are we doing the work?

The Pinehaven Stream has a long history of flooding events, typically occurring every one-to-two years. While some upgrades were completed after the 1976 storm event, residential dwellings remain at risk of internal flooding with the current level of service.

What level of service can we expect after the project is finished?

When the physical works are completed, the capacity of the stream will be much greater. This will increase the level of service from coping within a 1-in-5 year rain event to a 1-in-25 year flood event.

Why are we doing the work now?

There is an immediate need to improve levels of service and reduce flooding risk.

Upper Hutt City Council has approved District Plan change (PC42), which addresses the risk from flooding within the Mangaroa and Pinehaven Stream catchments for the 100-year flood event.

Is GWRC handing maintenance responsibilities to UHCC after the project is finished?

Yes.

The Pinehaven Stream is currently jointly administered by UHCC and GWRC under the Watercourses Agreement 1977. It makes sense to transfer responsibility to UHCC due to the confined nature of the catchment, the community being UHCC ratepayers and the close integration of flooding issues with the piped stormwater reticulation system.

It has been agreed that prior to the transfer of responsibility to UHCC the stream will be upgraded to current agreed levels of service. This means the improvement works in the stream channel will be designed to provide capacity for a 1-in-25 year flood event and floor level protection (water not coming inside the house) for the 100-year flood event.

When will the work begin?

We expect to begin the physical works in early 2020, after the consenting process is completed.

Will you need to cut down any trees?

Yes.

Unfortunately to access the stream and to make it wider and deeper it will be necessary to remove a significant amount of vegetation. This will be replanted with suitable native species, which will mature over time.

Where is the work going to happen?

The project works will be focused on key flooding areas around Blue Mountains Road, Sunbrae Drive, Whitemans Road, Pinehaven Road, Birch Grove, Pinehaven Reserve and Chichester Drive, Upper Hutt.

What’s happening with Willow Park?

As part of the project work, Willow Park will receive new plantings and an improved boardwalk – possible designs will be available soon.

Will the stream habitat be impacted?

We’re actively seeking to integrate mitigation of habitat impacts with our proposed improvements and construction methodology.

Who’s going to look after the Pinehaven Stream after the project is finished?

UHCC will be looking after the general maintenance of the Pinehaven Stream. Private property owners will continue to look after their gardens and vegetation within the margins of the stream.

Private Property Questions

What is a designation area?

A designation is an instrument under the Resource Management Act 1991 generally used to enable the construction and operation of public works. In addition, a designation can be thought of like an easement over a property as it means that any proposed use of the land within the designation area needs to be agreed with the UHCC to ensure it won't affect the stream improvements. 

Is any land from my property required for the project?

In some cases, the project will require private land. If this applies to your property, the team will be working with you directly. 

Will I be compensated for loss of use of the land? How will the land value be arrived at?

In most cases, there is a minimal loss of the use of private land, disturbance is primarily during construction and the land and any improvements impacted will be replaced “like for like”. The works being carried out will also likely add value to the property due to the reduced risk of flooding.

If land is required or impacts on the land make it unusable, or improvements are required to be removed and cannot be replaced, a property owner may be entitled to monetary compensation. Any compensation claimed by an owner will need to be accompanied by an assessment from a Registered Valuer in support of compensation.  It is recommended that owners discuss this with the project team before engaging a valuer.

What authority would the project have to access my land if I do not agree?

We are working towards all agreements being entered on a willing basis. However, Wellington Water does have powers of access available under the Local Government Act 2002 should that be required.

Who pays if I want to engage a lawyer?

If you’re thinking of engaging a solicitor to review the Access Agreement for your property, it’s best to discuss this with the project team before you engage legal advice. The process would involve getting an estimate from the legal provider and pre-approval from Wellington Water Ltd for any reimbursement.

The project team are very happy to discuss these documents with you and answer any questions.

Is my property access going to be affected?

Some owners’ property access will be restricted for a time during the works. Pedestrian access to owners’ properties should be maintained most of the time. Where vehicle access is restricted the project team will work through options on access with each one individually. If you have special access needs, please do talk to the project team as soon as possible about these so we can address these so far as practicable.

Will my title to the property change once the stream is widened?

Changes to the stream boundary, will in most cases not impact your property boundaries. If a small part of your land was required to be purchased, then Wellington Water will carry out a legal survey following the works to determine the new boundaries and will be responsible for all the legal requirements to obtain an updated title.

What about boundary fencing?

If your boundary fence requires removal as part of the project, then Wellington Water will replace the fence provided that water flow is not negatively impacted. The design and location will be discussed with you but generally any replacement fencing will be on a like for like basis.

Where vegetation/trees will be removed, will it be replaced, and will I have a say in the planting?

A significant amount of vegetation within the stream corridor will be removed to facilitate the works, although efforts will be made to retain desired vegetation where we can.

The project team will discuss replacement landscaping with you; you’ll be able to plant plants that are consistent with requirements prescribed through the planning process, and that are not expected to result a debris risk within the stream corridor.