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Learn more about river management in the Horizons Region this month

One year on from Cyclone Gabrielle and 20 years on from the 2004 floods, Horizons Regional Council is releasing an educational campaign to share more about river management works and infrastructure in the region.

Horizons operations manager John Foxall says the campaign will help teach people of all ages how vital flood protection is for our region.

“These large floods are etched into the collective memories of many residents throughout our region and the country as a whole. Many of us, myself included, witnessed the devastation of 2004 first-hand, and were served a sobering reminder of the power of water last year with Cyclone Gabrielle.

“We wanted to mark these significant dates with something positive, and so have created a series of educational videos detailing different types of flood protection infrastructure we manage in the region,” Mr Foxall says.

“You’ll learn about how many dams we have in the region, how the Makino and Moutoa floodgates work, why stopbanks are so vital and much more.

“These different assets all work together to form Horizons’ river management network, which protect countless homes, businesses, public assets, farms, roads, railway networks and much more from flooding throughout the region.

“We even have a competition running where you’ll need to answer questions about each type of flood protection. Be first to answer all of the questions correctly, and win a behind-the-scenes tour of the Moutoa Floodgates for four people. The visit will include a walk down to the gates if they’re dry, and the chance to even operate the gates yourself, with instruction from our staff.”

Mr Foxall says river management is something everyone can relate to or learn about in some way.

“As part of the campaign, we’ll also be sharing images from our archives of the history of our flood protection infrastructure. Some of our assets, such as the Moutoa Floodgates, have been around for more than 50 years, and have got a rich history we think should be shared,” he says.

“Rivers are at the heart of our region, flowing through every district and bringing us all together in some capacity. We all contribute to the health and wellbeing of our rivers, and in turn they sustain us, so we think it’s important for everyone to be aware of the work we do to strengthen and maintain these vital assets.”

The campaign will run on Horizons’ Facebook and Instagram pages for two weeks starting Monday 19 February. Keep an eye out for more information, including how to enter the competition at https://www.facebook.com/HorizonsRegionalCouncil, or on Instagram @HorizonsRegionalCouncil.


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