Funding welcome but more needed
Funding for 3-D aerial LiDAR mapping in the Northland region will be welcome for councils in the north that have struggled to afford it in the past, but there are calls for nationwide mapping.
A very accurate terrain mapping tool, LiDAR has been used across the Auckland region showing Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast will experience some of the worst inundation in the Auckland area.
That mapping stops at the boundary at Te Hana, leaving those living north of the Topuni River, on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour, in the dark. Mangawhai was mapped 10 years ago.
Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President Dave Cull says: ‘‘It is important for councils to have accurate data to help with risk management and infrastructure planning, and it is good to see the LiDAR technology is to be used in Northland.’’
But Government leaving the costs of climate change mitigation to local councils has long been a bone of contention for LGNZ, and has seen councils with a smaller rating base unable to accurately plan for coastal inundation and flooding.
‘‘LGNZ has also called for national data sets to inform natural hazards management, and would like to see this rolled out,’’ Cull said.
The $1.8 million project will see a Cessna
‘‘The data will have enormous practical value for Northland's economic and environmental health.’’
twin engine aeroplane, able to be flown safely at low altitudes over urban areas, modified for LiDAR surveying, covering 13,725 square kilometres.
‘‘The data will have enormous practical value for Northland’s economic and environmental health, at a cost that is affordable for our ratepayers,’’ Northland Regional Council chairman Bill Shepherd said.
Northland Regional Council, Far North District Council, Kaipara District Council, and Whanga¯ rei District Council are collectively contributing $1 million to the project. A 2015 NIWA report prepared for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment showed little LiDAR mapping has been done around the country’s coastline.
Auckland Council, along with Greater Wellington and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils, have all paid for extensive LiDAR mapping. In Northland, just 15 per cent of the region has been mapped, mostly around coastal communities. The mapping is expected to start by the end of the year and be finished sometime next year.