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Flooding is the most common hazard in New Zealand in terms of frequency, losses and declared emergencies.

Floods are usually caused by heavy rain and can cause injury and loss of life, and damage to property, land, and infrastructure.

Get ready for flooding

Three easy things you can do right now to get ready for flooding:

  • Check if you are in a flood zone.
  • Think of a place you could go if you had to evacuate – it could be with family or friends who don’t live in a flood-prone area.
  • Regularly clear your gutters and drains, especially during the rainy months.

Flooding in Taranaki

A combination of climatic and topographical factors means the Taranaki region is prone to high rainfall and subsequent flooding.

Surface flooding is not unusual in Taranaki during heavy rainfall, though significant flood events have been recorded in Taranaki’s history.

Taranaki has over 530 named rivers and streams. The big three (Waitara, Waitotara and Waiwhakaiho) have all flooded in the past.

The three big rivers have vastly improved flood protection, but any river has the potential to flood.  

If you live in Waitara, the lower Waiwhakaiho in New Plymouth, Ōkato, Opunake or Waitōtara, then you are within one of the Taranaki Regional Council’s flood control schemes.

Flooding can also occur when natural and built drainage systems are overloaded, particularly in urban areas, by prolonged heavy rain, coastal inundations, and even tsunami.