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While these photos of Carterton underwater look like they’re set safely in the distant past, Carterton is still at risk of major flooding if the Mangatārere stream tops its banks.

Any information about past floods can really help to predict future flooding and make decisions about flood protection for our area, and that’s where you can help!

Do you have any memories of past floods, or photos that you can share? How about old diaries, farm records or rainfall records? And it’s okay if you don’t have all the details and measurements. Your memory of the water coming up to the windows of Auntie Mae’s potting shed in the winter of 1983, is still valuable in helping to build up a fuller picture of what happens when we get a lot of rain.

If you have any information you’d like to contribute, or have any questions, please contact Esther Dijkstra from the Mangatarere Restoration Society at mangatarere.restoration@gmail.com or follow us on our Facebook page.

The Mangatārere Restoration Society (MRS) was established in 2012 as a stream care group working to enhance the water quality of the Mangatārere Stream.

In February 2019, a MRS project team was formed consisting of community members, iwi and Carterton Council representatives to work with Greater Wellington Regional Council to come up with a management plan for the Mangatārere catchment. A floodplain management plan is the first focus of this combined effort.

“We want to look at the catchment-wide management of water and land, and make sure that we consider a range of views, methods and impacts,” says MRS member Esther Dijkstra. “While some stopbanks are inevitable, they’re not always the right solution. We want to work with the river, rather than against it, and while the process might take longer, the protection of people and land from flooding will be much longer-term also.”