Damning report finds more than 400,000 New Zealand homes at risk of flooding

  • 06/07/2023

Newly released research has found more than 400,000 homes around New Zealand are at risk of flooding.

The report by NIWA and the University of Auckland found 441,384 residential buildings were in flood-prone areas, with a hefty estimated replacement value of $218 billion - a massive 12 percent of New Zealand's housing value. 

But NIWA scientist Emily Lane warned the actual figures will be higher.

Appearing on AM, Dr Lane said the report only looked at known flood hazard areas that had already been mapped.

"This number is going to get bigger once we understand the full scope of it," she told co-host Laura Tupou. "This is something we really need to think about and with the Auckland Anniversary floods earlier this year and then Cyclone Gabrielle, the Government is paying attention to flooding."

The report found Auckland and Canterbury had the highest flood hazard, accounting for about half of the buildings. Wellington, Waikato and Bay of Plenty also had many buildings affected.

"The good news is that they're not all going to be flooded at the same time because this is all of the places in flood-prone areas in New Zealand but, as we did see in the Auckland Anniversary floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, if a big event happens then you can actually have a whole region being affected by this," Dr Lane said.

Dr Lane is a part of a research team working on a national standard to get the full picture of flood hazards across New Zealand which is expected to take one year.

Watch the full video for more.