More time for Rangitāiki River Scheme Review

The Rangitāiki River Scheme Review panel is making good progress but has requested more time to process and interpret a large quantity of information before finalising the review report.


The independent Review team, led by Sir Michael Cullen, is looking into the infrastructure and the circumstances that led to the breach of a flood wall and associated flooding through Edgecumbe on April 6, 2017. Bay of Plenty Regional Council commissioned the review in the days after the event, requesting the report be completed in July.

Regional council chair Doug Leeder explained the timing.

“When I announced this review, I said that it was imperative the review was undertaken with all possible speed as we wanted to make sure any improvements identified could be acted on promptly. And this hasn’t changed for us.

“However, in light of the volume of technical information that the Review panel is processing within the scope of the terms of reference, the review panel has asked for additional time to ensure a considered and thorough response which means that it may be a few more weeks before this review is completed.

“We have accepted the panel’s request for more time because it is important a comprehensive, quality report is received.” 

Sir Michael said the review had made good progress. He thanked everyone who had provided information and input into the review.

"My panel is carefully and thoroughly reviewing this information and we are confident we will be able to provide the community clarity about what happened and whether things need to be done differently in the future. Due to the volume and technical nature of the information received the regional council has agreed to some additional time to allow this to happen," Sir Michael said.

 Additional information

The Rangitaiki River Scheme Review (RRSR) is a technical review that will focus on the regional council’s responsibilities. The scope of the review has two interlinked parts:

1.     The operation of the Rangitāiki River Scheme assets, including design, engineering, maintenance and management, that the regional council manages on behalf of the community;

2.     Implementation of the flood management role the regional council delivered during the ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie event until the breach, and in response to that breach.

More information on the review panel members, terms of reference etc is available at www.rrsr.org.nz

Earlier regional council media releases are available for reading below.

For more information on WDC's recovery project visit www.whakatane.govt.nz/recovery-project