Kilbirnie sits on low lying land in Wellington, marginally above high tide level. The suburb floods frequently, including internal flooding to businesses and dwellings during extreme events. The flooding is at odds with plans to intensify the area by recent district plan changes.
Investigations are currently underway to develop options for the western side of the catchment. This has become a high profile project, and has involved a series of community meetings and presentations to attempt to marry community expectations with funding levels.
Pump-stations and pipe solutions will provide a way of making the situation liveable while longer term solutions are developed. The longer term solution is expected to include upgraded infrastructure, new district plan controls, resilient building designs and individual responses to flooding events. The changing climatic conditions and controls will demand a new level of community engagement to achieve understanding and buy-in.