The recent floods hit Tāmaki Makaurau during its Anniversary Weekend, a traditional time of enjoying the city and of thinking about its past, present, and future.

The roaring waters, extensive land slips and widespread damage forcefully reminded us how much work we must do. We must ensure the city can cope with such extreme events as climate changes escalates and the city continues to grow.

The city already accounts for 14 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions; moreover, its population is projected to grow from 1.7 million people now to 2.4m by 2030.

Yet, we can make the city much more liveable, resilient, and wealthy (in all senses of that word) if we bring nature back into it in profound ways. To do so, we need to integrate our built environment with our natural environment.

In this episode, Alex Tang, director of sustainability at Kainga Ora, describes one example of each – intensification of Onehunga and restoration of Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek).

Filmed before the floods, he describes how the creek, and its environs were relandscaped so it could cope better with extreme weather events.  Come Anniversary Weekend, the storm was even more ferocious than foreseen. There was flooding but much less than the area suffered in weaker storms over prior decades.

Part 2 next Monday, March 6.

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