Sea-level rise issues remain

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Two years ago, more than one thousand homes, businesses, community organisations and schools were devastated by severe flooding in the suburbs that make up the greater South Dunedin area.

The Musselburgh rain station recorded 142mm of rain over the 24-hour period, the second highest since records began in 1918.

Since then, the cost of the flooding has been estimated as amounting to more than $138million in damage to property, insurance payouts and other economic and social impacts.

The flooding exposed the cracks in the maintenance of our infrastructure system, and highlighted problems with our civil defence systems.

It also highlighted wider issues for the greater South Dunedin area, leaving more questions than answers about the impact of long-term gradual sea-level rise and the effect on the groundwater level and what lies above the ground throughout the largest flat area of urban Dunedin.

Housing, businesses, schools, community organisations, churches are all an integral part of our city.

Since the 2015 floods, significant progress has been made, particularly with infrastructure maintenance and civil defence readiness, but there is more to be done.

Some people are still dealing with the flooding aftermath.

Lengthy insurance battles and repairs are among the issues reported to my office.

And there are still those who fear damage to their property in the event of heavy rain.

The DCC recently announced changes to the minimum floor level for new residences.

Another welcome development is that the DCC announced a temporary community hub will open mid-year, at the site of Cargill Enterprises in Hillside Rd.

In all of the discussions about the future of greater South Dunedin, the people who call these suburbs (of South Dunedin, St Kilda, St Clair, Forbury, Caversham, Caledonian, Portsmouth Dr, parts of Musselburgh and Tainui) home or work need to be part of the discussions about their futures.

The Greater South Dunedin Action Group will hold a public meeting on Monday, June 12, from 6.30pm at the Nations Church (334 King Edward St, South Dunedin).

There will be speakers from the DCC, GNS (Science) and the Property Council. The meeting will be chaired by Stan Rodger and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

By Dunedin South MP Clare Curran