Alongside the Cleddau River at Milford Sound is infrastructure critical to the functioning of the local community and tourism industry – all of which were susceptible to large flood events in the Cleddau. In 2006, Southland District Council determined that no further building consents would be granted in the area until flood protection was provided to a ‘1 in 100’ year standard. The Department of Conservation (DoC) required background studies into the flooding and appropriate planning responses.

Research and planning investigations included a village relocation study, hazards analysis and modelling (including flooding, tsunami, rockfall and snow avalanche), statutory approval scoping/strategising, and cost estimations for design, consenting and construction.

The culmination of these studies was DoC securing $13M in funding from cabinet.