Feds asks for flood protection for all

18 December 2021

Canterbury Federated Farmers presidents are alarmed to hear urban based regional councillors wildly claiming entire towns should be shifted to avoid flood protection costs.

Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury president David Clark warns councillors to remember to focus on flood recovery and river management for all ratepayers, not just a few.

"Proactive management of our flood protection works is essential for the wellbeing of our communities," David says.

During 2021 most of Canterbury has been challenged by flooding, with Christchurch and Banks Peninsula the most recent areas receiving more heavy rain.  

"The Prime Minister told us when she visited after the worst of the flooding that we need to engage with ECAN. That we have done. Now we call on them to engage with us,and govern for all residents not just their own voter base," David says.

Risk of flooding and river breaches are nothing new and since the time of first settlement of Canterbury, residents have sought to contain the rivers while developing villages, towns, cities, lifestyle blocks and farms across what is an historic flood plain.

"As the Environment Canterbury councillors meet to debate the Annual Plan it is timely to remind them that one of the key core responsibilities of the regional council is to protect all residents from natural hazards," Federated Farmers South Canterbury president Greg Anderson says.

"Some things in the Annual Plan are essential tasks, and some are "nice to haves", so good quality priority setting is needed."

Federated Farmers North Canterbury president Caroline Amyes says while it is very pleasing the council has set up a Catchment Committee to focus on flood recovery and river management, it is concerning that some councillors are suggesting we need to move some of our towns and allow the rivers to "run free".

"Now is not the time for such suggestions. Now is the time to govern for all residents," she says.

For more information contact:
David Clark | Mid Canterbury President, Federated Farmers
Email: valettafarms@ashburton.co.nz, Mobile: +64 (27) 4955202