Culvert is course flood culprit

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For the second year in a row, flooding has caused “huge damage” to the Roxburgh golf course, club president Nigel Arnesen says.

He said there was virtually no money left in the club’s accounts after about $5000 was spent fixing damage from last year’s flood, and the club could not make an insurance claim as it was an “act of God”.

“We are running on fumes.”

Repairs to the 18th green after last year’s flood were only finished about six weeks ago, thanks to help and equipment donated by Simon Forshaw of Jack’s Point Golf Club in Queenstown, he said.

“I’m highly pissed off, to be fair, because we knew it was going to happen again.

“We know how much rubble and metal and stones are up that hill that are coming down.”

Requests last year to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to fix a culvert which could have prevented flooding had been ignored, Mr Arnesen said.

“They wouldn’t do anything – they said it was a one in a 100-year flood, so basically, stiff bikkies.”

Teviot Valley Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn said the NZTA had promised at a public meeting in May it was going to address the culvert issue, but nothing had been done.

“I would have thought [the] council would have heard back by now – it has been quite a few months. We are up to the anniversary of the last flood event.”

The NZTA had an agreement with Aspiring Highways to maintain the Central Otago state highway network.

Mr Gunn met an Aspiring Highways spokesman after the flood last week and said the company had agreed to do some work on one of the culverts.

There were two culverts by the golf club, an older one further up the hill and one running underneath SH8.

“They are going to take the top culvert off and straighten things up.”

Although it was good that some work was being done on the top culvert, one of the bigger problems was the culvert under SH8, Mr Gunn said.

If the culvert was not restricting water like it was at the moment, 80% of the Roxburgh Golf Club’s flooding problems would not have occurred.

“When you look at the culvert across the highway I still doubt it is big enough to handle a big event.”

NZTA senior network manager John Jarvis said the problem with the Golf Course Creek culvert on SH8 just south of Roxburgh was with the older culvert that fed into the highway culvert from above the road.

“In extreme weather conditions some gravel and water spills on to the highway, with the majority of debris carrying through the highway culvert and down to the river via the formed watercourse across the golf course.”

The event last week was the result of very heavy widespread rain right across the region.

“Making the golf course culvert larger should reduce the risk of debris on the highway but it will still continue downstream on the formed watercourse through the golf course.

There was “no guarantee” no debris would end up on the highway even after the work was done, he said.

However NZTA was seeking funding next year to undertake a full review of all catchments.

“We will be working closely with the Central Otago District Council, Otago Regional Council and GNS [the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd], who all have information to assist us in the investigations of the wider catchment areas of Roxburgh.”