A family has evacuated and is standing on a hill behind a house with a grab and go bag. They are looking at a house half under flood water

Ngā waipuke Floods

Floods are the most frequently occurring natural hazard in the Wellington region.

Know your flood risk

  • There are different types of flooding; river flooding, flash floods, coastal floodng and urban flooding. Read more about these below.
  • You can find out if you live in an area prone to river flooding by visiting the Greater Wellington Regional Council's Flood Hazards Map.
  • You can find out more about urban flooding through Wellington Water
  • Review your insurance regularly. Having insurance cover for your home and contents will help you get back on your feet if you suffer damage in a flood.
  • If you live in an area at risk of flooding - make a grab bag for if you need to evacuate quickly.
  • If you have a disability or any requirements that may put you at greater risk in a flood visit Getready.govt.nz and follow the advice for people with disabilities.

Get prepared for floods


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  • Find out about the different types of flooding (below).
  • Find out from your local council if your home or business is at risk from flooding.
  • Check Greater Wellington Regional Council's River Flood Map to see if you are in an area prone to river flooding. 
  • Stay informed: through MetService, WREMO and radio.
  • Make a household plan for if access to your house is cut off, or you need to evacuate due to flooding. Plan the safest evacuation routes you could take. All members of the household should know where to evacuate to, what routes to take if you need to leave, and where to meet each other afterwards. 
  • If you have livestock, make a plan for how you’ll keep them safe from flood waters.
  • Ensure you have a grab bag ready to go and a plan for your pets and/or livestock. 
  • Clear leaves and debris from external drains to help prevent surface flooding. 
  • If flooding is expected
    • Move your valuables/furniture as high above the floor as possible. Use watertight containers to store important items.
    • Lift curtains, rugs and bedding off the floor. 
    • Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors. 
    • Consider using sandbags to keep water away from your home.
  • Check that your house and contents insurance covers you for flood events. 


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  • Stay informed - Listen to the radio and follow instructions of emergency services. Visit WREMO and your local council on their social media and website. 
  • Stay out of flood water - never try to walk, swim, or drive through flood water. Many flood deaths are caused by people driving through water, or people playing in flood water.
  • Evacuate if you feel unsafe - do not wait for an official warning. Follow your emergency plan, take your pets and grab bag. 
  • Always assume that flood water is contaminated with farm run-off, chemicals, and sewage. Contaminated flood water can make you sick. Make sure you wash your hands, clothes, and property after contact with flood waters. 
  • Bring pets inside and move livestock to higher ground, in line with your emergency plan.
  • If advised, turn off water, electricity and gas 
  • Check on your neighbours and anyone who may need your help. 


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  • If you've had to leave your home, you should only return once officials advise it is safe to do so. It may not be safe even when flood waters have receded. 
  • Look before you step - the ground may be slippery or covered with debris including broken glass.
  • Stay away from damaged areas. 
  • Help others if you can. 
  • If your property is damaged, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. If you rent your property, contact your landlord and contents insurance company. Check with your insurer before cleaning up. They may need specific photos or information provided to them.
  • Throw away any food, including canned goods, or drinking water that has come into contact with flood water as it could make you sick. Avoid drinking or preparing food with flood water until you are certain it is not contaminated. 
  • Follow any boil water notice instructions from Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ or Emergency Management.
  • Clean up carefully and take care around remaining flood water - you may need to wear protective gear such as gloves, sturdy footwear and protective clothing that covers your arms and legs. 

There are 4 main types of flooding:

Flooded stream water overflowing onto grass and at the foot of trees that line the stream

Rising Rivers

Rising Rivers are caused by heavy rain which can cause rivers to overflow their banks onto the floodplain (the flat section next to a river). 

Find out if you live or work near a river at risk of flooding 

South Wairarapa flooded rural road

Flash floods

Flash floods are caused when heavy rain falls in a small area with little warning. 

waves are overtopping a seawall in wellington and water is covering the footpath

Coastal areas

Coastal areas can flood because of unusually high tides, swells, or tsunami. 

Flooded domain

Urban flooding

Urban areas can flood when the rain falls faster than the storm water system can manage, or when storm water drains become blocked. These floods usually happen quickly and can block roads and damage buildings. 

You can find out more about this on the Wellington Water website

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