$11m earmarked for Ngaio Gorge resilience

9 May 2018

As part of its draft 10-Year Plan, Wellington City Council has earmarked $10.7 million to ensure Ngaio Gorge Road remains useable in the event of a disaster or severe weather.

Onslow-Western Ward Councillors Simon Woolf and Diane Calvert by the main slip in Ngaio Gorge.

Onslow-Western Ward Councillors Simon Woolf and Diane Calvert by the main slip in Ngaio Gorge.

The funding includes $9 million over the next three years to secure the gorge’s rock bluffs, and $1.65 million over the next five years to strengthen retaining walls. 

Onslow-Western Ward Councillors Simon Woolf, Diane Calvert and Andy Foster say Ngaio Gorge Road is one of the city’s most vital arterial roads. 

“Not only is Ngaio Gorge Road the primary access road for the Onslow area, it’s a critical escape route from the city should Ngauranga Gorge become impassable,” Cr Woolf says. 

“Protecting the gorge from earthquakes and severe storms doesn’t come cheap, but it will be money well spent. We want to ensure people’s lives can quickly return to normal in the aftermath of a natural disaster,” he says. 

Cr Calvert says, “this investment in Ngaio Gorge isn’t just important for cars, trucks and buses, but also for pedestrians and cyclists”.

“It also provides access to one of city’s best nature reserves, Trelissick Park,” she says.

Last year, heavy rain caused a series of landslides in Ngaio Gorge, two of which temporarily made the main road impassable and caused ongoing speed restrictions. 

The Council expects to start work on the main slip later this year. To ensure public safety in the meantime, the Council monitors slip risk-zones with GPS monitoring devices.

Cr Foster says, “over a sustained period of time we’ve invested tens of millions of dollars into resilience initiatives. Our investment into Ngaio Gorge will help future proof what is a critical route for Wellington”.

As part of the Council’s Road Risk Mitigation Management Strategy, there has also been ongoing strengthening works in Ngaio Gorge since 2001. The Council has budgeted a further $1.65 million for the programme which is scheduled to finish in 2023. 

The earmarked funding for the Ngaio Gorge resilience projects is part of the Council’s draft 10-Year Plan. People can read the plan and have their say at www.10yearplan.wellington.govt.nz. Alternatively, Wellington residents can post a comment on the Council’s Facebook page or tweet @WgtnCC using the hashtag #WgtnPlan for it to be included as a submission.