Auckland flooding: Inquiry to review performance of all officials involved in response phase


The man leading the inquiry into the official response to last month's flooding in Auckland says the performance of all officials involved will be reviewed.

Former police commissioner Mike Bush has been picked to lead the inquiry, which will look into the lead-up, and first 48 hours of the response.

Former police commissioner Mike Bush will be leading the inquiry.
Former police commissioner Mike Bush will be leading the inquiry. Photo credit: Getty Images

Auckland mayor Wayne Brown announced the review on Sunday, two days after he himself apologised for being too slow to be seen, and to act, on 27 January, when flooding plagued the city.

The review has been given an initial budget of $100,000, paid for out of the Mayors' Office's budget.

Brown and his deputy mayor, Desley Simpson, did not respond to Morning Report's requests for an interview this morning.

Bush said the inquiry will look at the response of flood which includes the period leading up to the event and then overnight and into the following day.

"So it's the performance of everyone involved. Could they have done better? If so what would that look like and we'll be making recommendations around that."

Bush said he had a team which he trusts including members experienced in crisis management, people who ask the right questions and people who are very good at reviewing the performance of organisations.

Team members include Gary Knowles who has recently left his role with the National Emergency Management Agency, Debbie Francis who has considerable experience in performance reviews and Mike Paki who is a senior investigator with the New Zealand police and has been involved in iwi/community relationships with officials.

"We've been set a timeframe of completing the review and reporting on it by March the 6th, which is a tight timeframe but it kind of galvanises you to action," Bush said.

"You want to get in, understand who did what, when they did it, was it the right thing to do, what were the consequences and report on that."

The review panel was completely independent and none of the panel had ever worked with Wayne Brown before, Bush said.

"We'll be making recommendations on exactly what we see and learn."

Asked where he was on the night of the flood Bush said he was in central Auckland but drove home to North Shore just before the massive deluge.

"We were sitting at home almost oblivious to it, to what was going on for most of the evening."

Bush said although he was not affected he knows many people who were and the flood devastated lives and livelihoods.

"That's obviously why you know the council and the officials want to know if there were any gaps because they want to make sure that they're 'best dressed' if this occurs again."