At the time, Mayor Wayne Brown said the council didn’t have this kind of money available and would need to look at other sources of finance.
“It’s a daunting prospect, but it’s clear the cost of inaction will be far greater than the price we’ll pay if we don’t address the issue now,” Spicer said.
“We simply can’t afford to kick it down the road.”
The council’s proposal includes removing properties from high flood risk areas and stormwater improvements to reduce flood risks.
It also includes the building of what are termed ‘blue-green’ networks - reserves which can be used by the community on dry days, while providing open spaces for water to flow through during storms.
Te Auaunga/Oakley Creek in the Auckland suburb of Mount Roskill is regarded as a blueprint for what can be done in other flood-prone parts of the city.
The existing concrete channel along a 1.3 kilometre section of the stream has been replaced with a wider, naturalised stream channel.
The new channel has been planted with hundreds of thousands of native plants - trees, ferns and flaxes - grown at a nursery set up at a local school.
This has increased the stream’s capacity while also restoring its ability to soak water naturally into the ground.
“Instead of fighting against nature – which, as we have seen, can be futile – green infrastructure projects like Te Auaunga work with it, factor it in, and give it the space it needs,” Spicer said.